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Arizona teacher allegedly slaps kindergartner, faces charges

When a teacher is accused of harming a student, serious consequences are usually possible if that teacher is convicted of crimes related to the accusation. For one woman who taught at Kinsey Elementary School in a kindergarten class, an accusation of her slapping a child has landed her in court.

The incident occurred on Aug. 20, 2013, when the teacher says a student threw a fit. The teacher was in the Kinder Lab room with some students, but one student remained in her classroom while taking a nap. The teacher was in the hall where she would call students to her one at a time to give them a quiz about their numbers.

When the teacher called out a 5-year-old boy, he saw another student try to take over his station in the Kinder Lab. He started to pitch a fit. The teacher led the boy to her classroom. It was then that the alleged incident occurred. A teacher next door heard the tantrum. That teacher says that when she went to help the teacher, she saw the teacher slap the kindergartner and heard her repeatedly apologize to the student.

The student says that he was slapped for crying and that it felt like someone threw a rock at his head. The teacher, however, tells a different story. The teacher says she placed her hands on the student's face to get him to focus on her nose to help him calm down. She says the apologies were for upsetting the student.

The teacher who saw the incident reported it to the school psychologist. She also went to the Kinder Lab to find out the student's name from the teacher in the lab. The school nurse was called and noted red marks on the boy's face. Roughly four hours later, red marks on his face were noted by a detective at the child's home. Neither the nurse nor the detective could say with certainty that marks resulted from a slap.

This teacher is now fighting a misdemeanor aggravated assault of a child under 15 charge. The case was heard before a judge, not a jury. The judge is expected to return a verdict soon. The severity of this case is apparent since it deals with a child. Inconsistencies in the stories and evidence were what this Arizona teacher's legal representation used to mount her defense and attempt to prove her side.

Source: Arizona Daily Sun, "Teacher accused of hitting student on trial" Michelle McManimon, Nov. 21, 2014

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