Trudie Donovan (Courtesy Kell High School)
MARIETTA, Ga. -- A former principal at Kell High School has been charged with not reporting that one of her students may have been sexually abused by a teacher.
Trudie Donovan, 61, was charged Thursday with failure to report child abuse. She announced her retirement as Kell principal earlier this month.
According to Cobb County Police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce, a student claimed to have been sexually abused by 37-year-old James Chadwick Brigham on May 17. Pierce said the student reported the abuse to school administrators on May 18, but administrators did not report it to police until May 22.
Brigham, who teaches Social Studies, now faces charges of battery and sexual battery, according to Pierce.
A letter posted on Kell High School's website before Donovan's retirement and arrest reads:
Dear Kell Family,
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. 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.
Mr. Ed Thayer, our Area Assistant Superintendent, will be starting the process of selecting our new Principal to continue on with the excellence that Kell High School has come to expect. The selection process will be taking place over the next month with the hopes of an announcement of the new Principal at the July 19th board meeting. During the month of July, should you need assistance prior to the announcement of our new Principal, please do not hesitate to contact Donna Stanley in the front office and she will have one of our administrators contact you back as soon as possible.
We are excited for Ms. Donovan as she moves on and will miss her dearly. We look forward to our next chapter at Kell High School and thank you for all of your support. We hope that you have a wonderful and safe summer and are excited to see you all in again in the fall.
Kell High School Administration
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)