Clayton County coach faces charges, accused of shoving autistic student

A coach in Clayton County was arrested and fired from his job amid allegations he shoved a 10-year-old with autism at James H. Brown Elementary School.

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A coach in Clayton County was arrested and fired from his job amid allegations he shoved a 10-year-old with autism at James H. Brown Elementary School.

A Clayton County educator lost his job and faces the prospect of losing his freedom amid allegations he attacked an autistic student, according to authorities.

Perrell Dechello Collins, a 41-year-old gym teacher and coach at James H. Brown Elementary, was arrested May 14, online booking records show. He faces two counts apiece of first-degree cruelty to children and simple battery.

Channel 2 Action News spoke to the parent of the 10-year-old autistic student, who reported that Collins pushed him twice in March. Chalandria Pittman told the news station that Collins could be seen on surveillance video yelling at her son before he grabbed the back of the child’s neck and pushed him against a wall. She said Collins started walking away, then turned back and pushed the victim to the ground.

“It was just, like, how aggressive and angry he was. And I’m just like, ‘This is a child,’” Pittman told Channel 2.

The woman said she and the victim’s father had to demand the footage for weeks before district officials released it. They also said they had to battle to get charges filed against Collins.

When asked about the arrest Friday, a school district spokesman would not lay out the details about the alleged incident. The spokesman released a statement that indicated district officials took immediate action and initiated an investigation after learning about the allegations.

The probe resulted in Collins being fired and charged criminally by Clayton County School Police, according to officials. The district also reported Collins to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which certifies and sets policies for educators in the state.

“Our school system does not condone any actions or behaviors that place our students or employees at risk and will continue to act in the best interest of all to ensure a safe learning and working environment is available to all,” the statement said.