Kell teacher accused of slapping student
by John Roach and Kim Isaza
June 22, 2012 11:05 AM | 31886 views | 163 163 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Bringham - Booking photo/Cobb County Sheriff
James Bringham - Booking photo/Cobb County Sheriff
slideshow
Trudie Donovan - Booking photo/Cobb County Sheriff
Trudie Donovan - Booking photo/Cobb County Sheriff
slideshow
MARIETTA — Kell High School teacher James Chadwick Brigham, 37, is accused of slapping a female student’s buttocks in a classroom on May 17, according to a warrant for his arrest.

Brigham was booked into Cobb Jail on Thursday night on a felony charge of sexual battery and two counts of misdemeanor simple battery. He was released early Friday on $25,000 bond.

He is married and lives in Woodstock, according to jail records. He did not return a phone message for comment left at his home Friday.

In addition to the May 17 incident, he is accused of slapping a student’s face with an open hand on May 14, which resulted in one of the battery charges, according to the warrant. In the other instance, he is accused of caressing the arm of a student and saying, “Don’t act like you don’t like it,” according to the warrant. That allegedly happened sometime between May 1 and May 25, according to the warrant, and also occurred inside a classroom.

Trudie Donovan, 61, the longtime principal at Kell High School who suddenly announced her retirement earlier this month, was booked into the Cobb County Jail on Thursday night on a charge of failing to report child abuse, a misdemeanor. School personnel are mandated to report suspected abuse within 24 hours. Donovan turned herself in about 7 p.m. Thursday and was released just before midnight that night on $1,000 bond.

She did not immediately return a phone message left at her home seeking comment.

Cobb School District spokesman Jay Dillon declined to comment on the case Thursday night. District offices are closed on Fridays during the summer.

Donovan is the second Cobb principal charged this year with failure to report suspected abuse. In March, former Tapp Middle School Principal Dr. Jerry Dority and a counselor at that school were charged with failure to report suspected sexual abuse of a student. Both were fired by the district in April.

A note on Kell’s website references Donovan’s retirement but says nothing of the charges filed against her or Brigham.

“As many of you may already be aware, Ms. Donovan has decided that after 34 years of service in education and six years of leadership at Kell High School that it is time for her to embark on a new chapter of her life in retirement,” the note states. “As she has shared with us ‘her garden in the mountains is calling.’ Her last day at Kell High School will be on June 28th of this year. Rest assured she still plans on enjoying the students and community at Kell High School and will continue to support our programs that she loves so much. This includes assisting those students who would like tutoring in math.”

Donovan was named Kell’s principal in 2006 after serving as an associate principal at Harrison High for four years. She started in the Cobb County School District in 1978 as a teacher at Walton High, where she stayed until 2000. She also served as an administrative assistant and assistant principal at South Cobb High in her 30-plus years with the district.

Prosecutors say Donovan will make her first court appearance in mid-August. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Comments
(163)
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Clean laundry
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July 18, 2013
Charges where dropped on the teacher in this case and the principal . Where is the story about that ?? Where are the apologies ?Your comments without knowing what happened next time I hope that we all think before we bash the teachers like this . Two good people here and another employee paid the ultimate price here. Life's on hold because of being accused of something none of them did. The end
Student.
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September 12, 2012
To be honest....Some people are taking this to the heart and i honestly dont know why. Yes, he's a teacher yeah who said it said it...but honestly do you think someone would lie about some random teacher touching them? like really? Come on now. You guys really need to quit. You have no proof that he didnt do it. No proof that he did. But i'm pretty sure the person that said it had a reason and wasnt lying over it.
10 c's
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February 12, 2013
@student. So to answer your question yes kids lie however this is the worst kind to do to someone it is called baring false witness one of the Ten Commandments.Not everyone will learn how wrong this is to do to someone no guilt unable to feel guilt,and the abilty to manipulate.
Graduate of Kell
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August 23, 2012
I had Mr. Brigham as a teacher almost all 4 years of high school, and I question this whole thing. The only people I knew who didn't like him didn't want to learn anything. So many kids at Kell or any high school, really, just don't care about school, and are a burden to teachers like Brigham, who actually care about the difference they try to make daily. Good riddance to Kell high school.
Agree with you
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August 30, 2012
If you think this way and you where Mr. Brigham's student then write a letter to the DA attorney about it.I agree with you and the below student.Amen and God Bless our teachers
kell student
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August 20, 2012
i love mr brigham and i feel bad for him he doesnt deserve any of this.
Tex G
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June 29, 2012
A good slap is the least that these punks need.

Government schools turning out more criminal students.

Being a teacher is like asking to be beaten.
A Parent @ Kell
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June 29, 2012
Your an idiot ...
"A Parent @ Kell"
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July 01, 2012
Actually, it's "you're* an idiot". So before calling names, check your grammar.
#holdup
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July 03, 2012
^lol
From his class
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June 27, 2012
I was a student in the class with the people involved. All these people on here saying it can't be true. I know the reason one person did not come forward at first is because she didn't want him to get in trouble. But after several instances finally told. EVERYONE in the class was witness to things he did and said. Teachers are not supposed to flirt with students. Teachers are not supposed to touch students. Who cares if they were students with bad grades? Doesn't give the right to be subject to abuse. People should know the facts and not judge so quickly. It will all come out in time and I hope all the haters on here can forgive themselves for such nasty statements against those girls.
FromHisClassAlso
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June 27, 2012
You are completely correct . I also was in his class and agree with everything you said . Its sad that the fingers are being pointed at the students and parents , like they close to be a victim . Mr. Brigham is very inappropriate . And I hope the truth comes out and people see who is really wrong in this situation .
AnonymousFact
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June 27, 2012
Look at Sandusky .Everyone thought he was innocent, He had to start somewhere . He CHOSE troubled boys .
Tex G
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June 29, 2012
Well we have your commie Demokook liberal buddies to thank for these perverts.

Public schools are a hole in the ground where money is poured.

What a joke.
By Stander
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June 27, 2012
Re: Kell Student

Bad grades have nothing to do with a selective pedophile. A teacher should NEVER flirt, touch, make obscene gestures or anything along those lines, EVER! You were not the person involved so you don't know what actually happened. I feel bad for the 2 actually involved. Give some credit to the ones with enough nerve to come forward. Look at the hell that they are enduring, if proven to be true.
rpaul20988
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June 27, 2012
Seems we have moved to the point of over protecting our kids and giving there word more value than the adult. Then we turn around and want to give them rights as an adult? Teachers are made to be the baby sitters but can not punish? Parents dont want the responsiblity but charge teachers who do? We want our kids educated but we hire a politician or business major as superintendant that has never taught? They say our kids are fat so we remove gym class? The Government spends more time and dollars to dictate eating habits rather than supporting physical education. As we allow it will continue down this road further.
wiserr
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June 26, 2012
@ look a t this Brigham was not fired know your facts ...or are you a student that thinks it is funny???
qualiteacher
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June 26, 2012
I have worked in the schools of several states and have seen the same problems. The parents think the teachers are responsible for all of their child's learning. From the moment a child is born, the parents are responsible! If you want them to gain social skills take them to synagogue, church or whatever religion you practice. Principals are bullying your teachers so the teachers are being hit from all sides - parents, students, and administration. If you complain or question this, you are given the choice to resign and be black balled or be fired and lose your career. What a choice! So quality people who want to be teachers are getting harder and harder to find. Let's build some respect for those working with our children - look at the Asian society for guidance!

copper99
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June 25, 2012
..I hope one of the News Stations have the time to expose the rules being broken by kids at school..and what the kids that want to learn have to witness by what they used to be called trouble makers.It is not funny anymore.
wiserr
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June 25, 2012
Not sure if the younger generation of today get that the way they dress if an adult is looking at you it does not mean we are checking you out or think you look hot..~For one it is shocking that your parents bought the clothes for you for to you wear,~ for two allowed to leave the house~ for three that the school does not call your parents to bring you different clothes to the school dress code~for four you think a grown person thinks it's hot .What we think is not good stop flattering yourself. Next time you get a look that is what Grown ups are thinking.I hear these comments from students on one side of it you think grown ups are creepy (teacher)and the next minute your sorta saying that teachers think the girls are hot? As an adult that is creepy...
LOOK AT THIS!!!
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June 24, 2012
Donovan fired Bingham. Instead of going to graduation, he cleaned out his room. Oh my, can this be true? You betcha!
wiserr
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June 26, 2012
Are you a student that thinks this is funny?? He was not fired by the way ..you betcha your wrong ...
ecobber
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June 24, 2012
Did Cobb County learn nothing from the Frank Robinson case? He was vindicated of charges similar to this. This charge is made by a girl who got an F in all her classes. Everyone knows this!
Again?
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June 24, 2012
I do hope that if the charges against the teacher prove to be false, there will be a big story about it. The charges against the Lassiter Counselor a couple of years ago were proven false, but in the meantime he lost a career. And there wasn't much published when he was exonerated....
copper99
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June 25, 2012
They did show a story about Mr. Robinson on WSB channel 2 .I do not remember the guys name who talked about how females students are falsely accusing male teachers of sexual battery.How common it is and they want to get them fired.I think you can still watch it if anyone wants to.Mr Robinson also spoke one his behalf in it.If anyone wants to watch it.
Kell Student
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June 24, 2012
I had Mr Brigham this year for world history. I know a lot of his classes had kids getting in trouble, including my class. I also know that the two freshman who reported him have failing grades and also get in trouble. Its ashamed that someone would go this far with something that's not true. I know Mr Brigham would never do anything to that extent. Sure he would kid around with students, but he would never touch anyone in any kind of way. He was one of my favorite teachers and I'm sad to see this happen. As for Trudie, I don't know one person that has something good to say about her.

Innocent until proven guilty.
By Stander
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June 27, 2012
Bad grades have nothing to do with a selective pedophile. You don't know what he did or who he touched. A teacher should NEVER flirt, touch, make obscene gestures, or anything out of line. EVER. No one ever suspects anything ever to happen like this but when it does, it is such a disbelief! You were not in that situation so you don't know.
know your facts!
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June 23, 2012
to very true....regarding the incident with the skittles and the "precious" name calling you need to have the facts!!! There weren't 10 boys suspended because there weren't 10 boys involved! The name calling was going back and forth! She was with a large group and they were yelling racial slurs at the boys! How funny that you feel empowered to comment on an incident you know nothing about!! Maybe you should get the facts straight before you pass judgement!
Soyoun
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June 23, 2012
My cousin had him as a teacher when she went to Lassiter and she said even back then he was overly touchy. For all the people saying students are liars and they make up most of this crap because they are horrendous students...My cousin was a straight A student and she can definitely see this happening to him. I went to Kell and while I never had the joy of him teaching me, I know him and other faculty at Kell do not handle their jobs appropriately. I did have a friend who had been going through really tough times at home, so much so, she resorted to cutting herself. I was so worried and went to our counselor, who literally did nothing other than tell her she was being childish and to get over it. She didn't bother to look into the fact that this girls father was physically and emotionally abusive. At Kell, fights happen all the time and blind eyes are generally turned on it. It ending up like this is not surprising in the least.
@Did Not Learn Much
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June 23, 2012
You have incorrectly used a semi-colon. People in glass houses...
LOUD NOISES!
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June 23, 2012
I DON'T KNOW WHY WE'RE YELLING!!!
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