Fort Worth ISD Principal Arrested on Multiple Charges
DALLAS â€” A middle school principal was placed on paid administrative leave Monday after she was accused of leaving her two young children in a downtown Dallas hotel room while she went to a bar, officials said.
Carla Westbrook-Spaniel, 44, of Arlington, was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of public intoxication after scuffling with a bouncer and police when she wasn’t allowed into a nightclub because she didn’t meet the dress code, Dallas police said.
Police learned during the arrest that the children, ages 3 and 4, were alone in bed in a nearby hotel, said Dallas police spokesman Sgt. Warren Mitchell.
Westbrook-Spaniel was being held in the Dallas County jail Monday on two counts of child endangerment, according to online records. There was no information about whether she had an attorney, said Dallas County sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Leach.
Westbrook-Spaniel, the principal at J.P. Elder Middle School, was placed on leave pending an investigation by the Fort Worth school district, said district spokesman Clint Bond.
She has been with the district since 2006, Bond said.
“Dr. Spaniel has a long history of excellence as a leader and educator. As we go forward we’ll be seeking the facts and details, and the district will take appropriate action based on those facts,” Bond said.
Westbrook-Spaniel’s husband, Army Reserve Capt. Keith Spaniel, is serving his third tour in Iraq but is headed home on emergency leave, said his commander, Lt. Col. Kelly Broome of the 490th Civil Affairs Battalion. The unit is based in the Dallas suburb of Grand Prairie.
Broome said the couple’s children are staying with relatives.
Spaniel deployed in August and was due back in the fall, Broome said.
“He is concerned about his wife. He’s relieved that his children are with his family,” Broome said. “He’s dedicated to his mission, but we need him to get back here so he can take care of his family.”