Lawyer: Arrested Coffee Co. elementary school principal claims innocence
DOUGLAS, Ga. (WALB) - An elementary school principal is fighting back against charges she believes are unjust.
Anastagia Carter is facing multiple charges that she abused students.
Francys Johnson, Carter’s attorney, took a strong stance against the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) arrest of his client. Johnson claimed Carter has done nothing wrong. Carter has been in the Coffee School System for decades as a teacher and principal. Johnson claimed the GBI has been very uncooperative thus far with sharing information they may have, like video.
“We’ve reached out to the GBI. We reached out before the arrest warrants to try to understand how could any of her actions could be misconstrued,” Johnson said.
Carter was charged with first degree cruelty to children and false imprisonment, both of which are felonies. She was also charged with third degree cruelty to children and simple battery. The GBI said the charges stem from incidents at Indian Creek Elementary School while Carter was principal.
Johnson and Carter’s family said they don’t have an incident report or know why she was arrested. I talked with the superintendent and reached out to the GBI for an incident report. I haven’t gotten one yet.
“We think the evidence will show that Principal Carter did nothing but love on the students, care for those students and give them the very thing that should give to her own kids,” Johnson said. “There was a time that we respected educators. She is disheartened. She believes 24 years of experience would mean more respect than what was given to her.”
On Thursday, about 30 community members and friends spoke about Carter and prayed with her. Carter has been in the school system for 24 years. Many have known Carter for decades.
“She was attentive to things assigned to her. I had the opportunity to go to lunch with her on many occasions. She’s always been the same person,” Bishop Swanson, who knows Carter, said.
WALB News 10 reached out to the GBI for comment about the cause of the investigation and whether they have video of the alleged incidents but have not heard back.
Copyright 2023 WALB. All rights reserved.