Story by David Carroll
Eyewitness News Anchor


CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- The Hamilton County District Attorney's office is preparing to drop charges against an elementary principal who had been charged with domestic assault.

Assistant District Attorney Rodney Strong tells Eyewitness News that the case against Stacy Johnson has been passed to February 3, 2011, and charges will be dropped if there are no further incidents.

Mrs. Johnson, principal of East Lake Elementary was arrested in late September after her husband Shawn told police that she had struck him.  Mrs. Johnson said she had made contact with him while trying to push him out of the way during a domestic dispute.

Mrs. Johnson has remained on the job at her school, and tells Eyewitness News she is ready to put the incident behind her, and hopes the outcome of the decision will clear her name.



CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- East Lake Elementary principal Stacy Johnson says she was acting in self-defense in an incident in which she was arrested on a domestic assault charge.

In a motion filed Thursday in General Sessions Court, the first-year principal requested the charge be disqualified and dismissed.

Mrs. Johnson claims she and her husband Shawn were going through a divorce process, and she was preparing to leave their home with their children.  The motion says her husband was "in her face in a threatening manner and followed her around and would not leave her alone.  In an act of self-defense, (she) used her leg to protect herself and move him out of her way.  In the process, her leg and foot contacted his upper thigh."  Mrs. Johnson says one of their children began crying during the incident.

The motion continues, "His reaction was to say that he had been "waiting for such a moment," ran to get a camera to take a photograph of his "red mark" and then called the police.

Mrs. Johnson said police told her she could charge her husband with harassment, "but she chose not to do that.  Thereafter, the police talked to Mr. Johnson, and Mrs. Johnson was arrested."

The motion further states that "Mr. Johnson violated a standing order of the Divorce Court by violating a state law which places an automatic injunction restraining both parties from harassing, threatening, assaulting or abusing the other and from making disparaging remarks about the other to or in the presence of any children of the parties."

Concluding her affidavit, Mrs. Johnson states "My supervisors and Board of Education personnel started receiving anonymous e-mails with defamatory or false statements about me after the threats by my husband and the incident in question."

Reacting to the incident after Mrs. Johnson's arrest, a spokesperson for Hamilton County schools told Eyewitness News, "We consider it a personal situation, which doesn't affect her professional capacity, and she will remain principal of East Lake throughout the legal proceedings."