The Roanoke Times, July 22, 2000

Felony assault charge pending Embattled Radford teacher resigns
Radford School Board accepts resignation of 36-year teacher Carroll Purcell
By Isak Howell

RADFORD - A veteran Radford High School physical education teacher resigned Friday, two days after he was found guilty of cursing a student, and then was charged with the felony assault of a police officer.

The Radford School Board unanimously accepted the resignation of Carroll Purcell, 59, after a brief, specially called closed-door meeting Friday evening.

"This was his decision," School Board Chairman Carter Effler said. "This is the solution that's easiest for everybody." The board took less than 15 minutes to make its decision. Effler said they received Purcell's letter of resignation on Friday, ending a sensitive issue that the School Board discussed in a closed meeting Thursday night.

Purcell, 59, was a physical education teacher at Radford High for 36 years. He was suspended with pay in March after student Carrie Long accused him of cursing at her and then throwing a chair at her on March 17.

On Wednesday Judge Robert C. Viar found Purcell guilty of misdemeanor cursing and abuse and fined him $100 in Radford Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Viar acquitted Purcell of misdemeanor assault.

After the trial Purcell got into a shoving match in the courthouse parking lot with Radford police detective Pete Rutzinski and was charged with assaulting him. Rutzinski, who investigated Purcell's case, was not injured.

Purcell has been released from the New River Valley Regional Jail.

Purcell's resignation comes six weeks after the city School Board suspended another teacher and coach, James Anthony "Tony" DeHart, without pay after he was caught on videotape stealing students' prescription medication. Related charges against him were taken under advisement. The School Board agreed to review his case in a year.

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