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Former Polk County assistant principal pleads to reckless conduct charge

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Matthew Johnson was arrested after a Nov. 16, 2017, incident where Johnson dragged a child for a distance across a carpeted floor, which caused burns to the student’s skin after the child refused to comply with orders by the former administrator to calm down. In a hearing on Feb. 5, Johnson pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and made a public apology to the student and his family.

He was suspended with pay from the Polk School District prior to resigning from his post.

Johnson's future teaching career will be up to the state's Professional Standard Commission to decide. The body has the power to suspend or revoke his license as an educator.

District Attorney Jack Browning said the child’s guardian came in court to give her agreement to the terms of the plea.

“He plead guilty to what he was really guilty of doing,” Browning said.