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California principal jumped to death at Disneyland; was accused of child endangerment

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An elementary school principal who leapt to his death at Disneyland over the weekend was due in court Monday on child endangerment charges.

Anaheim police said that Christopher Christensen, 51, jumped from the top of the theme park’s Mickey & Friends parking structure just before 9 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The Orange County coroner confirmed Christensen’s identity and the cause of death as suicide the next day.

Mr. Christensen also was facing battery charges.

He worked as the principal at William T. Newland Elementary School in Huntington Beach, according to KTTV. He had been an employee of the Fountain Valley School District for more than two decades, including as the principal of Roch Courreges Elementary, Fulton Middle School and the since-closed Moiola K-8 School.

The former principal wrote a lengthy Facebook post Saturday night saying he had recently spent the night in jail after his wife called the police following a heated argument between the two.

He denied accusations that the argument turned physical, and said the incident caused him to be put on administrative leave while his case was sorted out.

“Never in this exchange did I hit, slap, or hurt [my wife] in any manner. Nor did I ever touch the girls (I never have and never will),” Mr. Christensen wrote. “I love the girls like my own and they know that, as does everyone else who truly knows me.”

He later said that he was “writing my final FB post to all of you. I need you all to know that a gentle, kind, loving and sincerely good man has been destroyed by one unfortunate night.”

“Mr. Christensen has been a respected leader in FVSD for over 20 years,” Fountain Valley Superintendent Katherine Stopp said in an email to the school community, according to KTTV. “His contributions to this community are immeasurable. He was a father, husband, brother, and friend to so many. His passing leaves us devastated and heartbroken.”



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