Elementary School Principal Arrested After Leaving Kids, Going to a Bar

Filed under: In The News

A Texas elementary school principal was arrested May 8, after she allegedly left her two young children alone in a hotel room and went to a club.

Carla Westbrook-Spaniel, principal of J.P. Elder Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas, was denied entry into the Mantus Club in downtown Dallas because of the way she was dressed, CBS 11 reports. Westbrook-Spaniel, 44, then punched the bouncer in the stomach, according to police. Officers attempted to restrain her, but she started resisting them.

"They laid her on her side, like we're trained to do, and at that point she started flailing around -- which caused the abrasions on her face," Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse with the Dallas Police Department tells CBS 11. "[She] was flailing her arms so violently she scratched her own face."

Westbrook-Spaniel initially told police her children, ages 3 and 4, were alone in a nearby hotel, but then said they were with a babysitter in Arlington. Officers investigated and found the children naked and sleeping at the Adolphus Hotel, CBS 11 reports.

The principal initially refused to give police or Child Protective Services any family members' contact information, but CPS eventually found her in-laws and placed the children in their grandparents' custody. Westbrook-Spaniel's husband, Army reserve Capt. Keith Spaniel, is on his third deployment to Iraq.

The school district released this statement to CBS 11: "Dr. Spaniel has a long history of excellence as a leader and an educator. We have not yet had the opportunity to speak with her about this. We will be seeking facts and details and the district will take appropriate actions based on the facts."

Westbrook-Spaniel is currently on administrative leave. She faces one count of public intoxication and two counts of child abandonment, CBS 11 reports.

Julissa Ceia, an eighth grader at J.P. Elder, says Westbrook-Spaniel tells them to "'think about what you do before you do it." Ceia adds, "After what happened, she could've thought about it and she wouldn't have gotten in trouble."

Related: School Principal Accused of Locking Students in Cages

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.