Superintendent Looney denies he assaulted student at Franklin High School

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Williamson County School Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney is speaking out and denying allegations that he assaulted a student.

Looney released a statement Thursday afternoon saying in part, “I apologize to the community for the distraction that this accusation has caused. I completely deny the allegations and have faith that the legal process will result in a positive resolution.”

It was unclear if Dr. Looney was back at work Thursday, one day after he turned himself into police. Officials with the school told News 2 he wasn’t in the building, but at a meeting off-site.

In an arrest affidavit, Franklin police described Looney as aggressive.

The school superintendent was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault, which is a misdemeanor.

News 2 reached out to all 12 Williamson County School Board Members for comment. Only one got back to us and directed us to the District Communications Director. Several board members have spoken out on social media

In a Facebook post, Rick Wimberly, of District 9 wrote, “I’m well aware of what happened.

Dr. Looney did not assault a student, not even close, not even a misdemeanor. I’m baffled how it could be viewed otherwise. Dr. Looney will be fine, and is back at work already this morning.”

Anne McGraw, who serves District 4 wrote on her Facebook, “I cannot, and will not, comment on the incident at Franklin High School this week other than to say that knowing what I know, I’m 100 percent in support of Dr. Looney and his leadership in our district. The official statement issued by Williamson County Schools is below for those who have yet to see it. I expect further updates to come over the course of the next few days. I know everyone has a million questions, but please continue to be patient as we try to remain focused on the needs of our schools.”

Eric Welch, who serves District 10, commented under a post on his page saying, “I’m grateful that several eyewitnesses to the incident were present and eager to testify and I’m grateful for the video that exists. I’m confident the full truth will be revealed at the proper time. Dr. Looney will have his day in court and is eager for it.”

The school district released a statement that said in part, “There were multiple witnesses on hand who dispute this accusation of simple assault, and we believe this charge is without merit and will not stand.”

Police said they were called to Franklin High School Tuesday for what has been described as a psychological emergency.

Police said they were in the conference room at the school with a student, her mother and school staff when they said Dr. Looney abruptly entered the room and forced the student out of the school and to his car.

According to the arrest affidavit, Dr. Looney grabbed the girl by her arm, pulled her from the chair and escorted her to his car. It said two officers had to remove the girl from Dr. Looney’s car.

The report also said Dr. Looney attempted to direct the officers in their actions and the officers described the superintendent as “aggressive” to the girl’s mother making her feel “fearful for her safety.”

News 2 reached out to the number listed for the mother of the victim, a woman answered by the same name saying she has no comment.

News 2 has also requested video of the incident from Franklin police.

Police told News 2 Dr. Looney turned himself in to authorities after hearing about the charge.

He’s since been released on a $1,500 bond.

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