Education · Fresno

Ex-Fresno Unified principal Vollhardt pleads not guilty in child abuse case

Former Wolters Elementary School principal Brian Vollhardt entered a not guilty plea Monday to charges of child abuse and endangerment. 

The charges stemmed from an incident on June 7 in which Vollhardt pushed a 10-year-old autistic student into the ground. 

Fresno Unified School District launched an investigation into the altercation and Vollhardt resigned shortly after the incident. 

He was hired by Tranquility High School as a vice principal later in June but has since been placed on administrative leave after a video was released showing Vollhardt shoving the student to the ground. 

While the student’s family was present in court Monday to witness the arraignment, Vollhardt was not. 

Instead, attorney Roger Wilson entered the not guilty plea for Vollhardt. 

Judge Gabriel Brickey issued a restraining order on Vollhardt at the family’s request. The family said Vollhardt had a previous altercation with the student in May where he allegedly pinned the student to the ground with his knee. 

Vollhardt is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 18. 

If convicted of the misdemeanor charges, he faces up to a year in jail.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.