Van Buren Police Investigate Allegations That Teacher Struck Student
VAN BUREN (KFSM) – Police are investigating a Van Buren middle school teacher following accusations she struck a student this week in class.
The Northridge Middle School teacher is being investigated by authorities and the Van Buren School District, although a representative with the school district said officials cannot release any information at this time.
Det. Jonathan Wear with the Van Buren Police Department said investigators are limited on what they can say because the situation is an ongoing investigation. However, police are investigating the alleged incident, he said.
School administrators have not said whether the teacher has been suspended or placed on leave during the investigation.
The mother of the 13-year-old boy who was allegedly hit told 5NEWS the teacher came up behind him Tuesday and slapped him on the shoulder 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 teacher was not at school Thursday, and a substitute teacher was in her place, the mother said.
The mother said police have spoken to her son, and the family is meeting with prosecutors Thursday. The Arkansas Department of Human Services is also investigating, she said.
The teacher has not been arrested.
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.
Stay with 5NEWS for more on this developing story.