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

The former principal of Wolters Elementary did not appear in court to enter his plea on charges of child abuse and child endangerment over shoving an autistic child.

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.

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