Arrest Warrant Issued For Van Buren Teacher Accused Of Hitting 2 Students
CRAWFORD COUNTY (KFSM) – An arrest warrant has been issued for the Van Buren teacher accused of hitting two students in the last three months.
Denan Cagle, a science teacher at Northridge Middle School, has a warrant out for her arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor third-degree battery, according to court documents filed in Crawford County on Wednesday.
Van Buren police said Jan. 29 they were investigating Cagle following allegations she struck a student on his arm during class. Detectives later forwarded the case to prosecutors, who decided to charge Cagle in connection with the incident. A police incident report was also filed in a separate incident from last November, in which a student and his classmates said Cagle slapped him in the face.
Cagle was temporarily suspended in the November incident. Van Buren School District Supt. Kerry Schneider sent a letter to Cagle on Feb. 2 concerning January’s alleged incident. In the letter, the superintendent notifies the teacher he is recommending to the School Board that she be fired. School administrators have not said whether Cagle was actually fired out of the incident.
The letter notes Cagle admitted to the superintendent that she did hit the two students.
The mother of the 13-year-old boy who was allegedly hit in January told 5NEWS the teacher came up behind him Jan. 28 and slapped him on the arm hard enough to leave a red mark and a hand print. She said children in the class reported the incident to the school’s principal the next day. The mother said she received a call from the principal the same day, notifying her of the incident.
The case was referred to the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Shortly after the allegations went public, another mother told 5NEWS Cagle was being investigated by DHS for a similar incident from three months ago involving a separate student. That incident was the slap noted by the police incident report from November.
The Van Buren School District handbook on the district’s website outlines several types of discipline students may face for inappropriate behavior, none of which include physical punishment. A cached version of the handbook on a web search shows a page titled “4.3.8 — Corporal Punishment”.
The page states Van Buren officials may use physical force and “swats with a paddle” to counter “excessive” student behavior. That page does not appear in the current handbook. It is not clear when that page was taken out.
Several attempts to contact Cagle through the school district, telephone and email have been unsuccessful. A 5NEWS reporter also went to a home listed as belonging to Cagle in order to get her side of the story. The person who answered said he had never heard of her.