Williamson County Superintendent Mike Looney Charged With Assault

Posted at 5:54 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 19:32:55-05

Williamson County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney turned himself in to police after being charged with assault of a student on Wednesday. 

According to a statement from Williamson County Schools, the charge stemmed from an incident which took place Tuesday at Franklin High School. School officials said Looney and others were assisting a student in crisis.

Franklin Police Officers and paramedics were dispatched to Franklin High School for a reported psychological emergency.

Police said while working with the student, the student’s mother asked to have her daughter transported to the hospital. According to police, Dr. Mike Looney, entered the conference room, grabbed the student by her arm, and forced her out of the school and to his vehicle. Officers intervened and had on-scene paramedics transport the student to the emergency room for evaluation.

"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," Carol Birdsong, Williamson County Schools communications director, said.

On Wednesday, the officers involved consulted with the Williamson County Magistrate, who issued an arrest warrant charging Dr. Looney with assault.

On Thursday, NewsChannel 5 obtained the police affidavit which stated, in part:

"Dr. Looney placed himself between the officer and the student and stated that the juvenile would be taken to his office. Dr. Looney told the student that he would not have a scene at school and told her to stop crying. Dr. Looney grabbed the juvenile by the arm and pulled her from a chair. Dr. Looney escorted the juvenile to his personal vehicle. The mother of the juvenile objected and was clear that she did not consent to her child going anywhere but to a hospital by ambulance."

The affidavit went on to say two officers removed the juvenile from Dr. Looney's personal vehicle, but he "attempted to intervene and attempted to direct the officers in their actions."

Police stated Dr. Looney's actions were "aggressive" toward the mother of the juvenile and "encroached on her personal space causing the child's mother to feel fearful of her safety."

Dr. Looney surrendered himself at the Williamson County Jail after Franklin Police notified him of the warrant.

Looney was released after posting the $1,500 bond set by the Magistrate. His court date was set for March 8 at 1:00 pm.

On Thursday, Dr. Looney released the following statement:

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. Until this is resolved, I can’t comment further. I look forward to sharing more when possible. Meanwhile, I will maintain my focus on serving the students, teachers, and staff of Williamson County Schools.

School Board member Rick Wimberly posted the following statement on his Facebook following the news:

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.