Van Buren Police Investigate Allegations That Teacher Struck Student

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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.

13 comments

  • Moose Moore

    Good Grief!!!! It’s time to bring corporal punishment back into schools….my kids have made it though VB just fine and if they did something wrong and they did; they knew there would be repercussions….It is time to allow the principal to paddle a student and send a note home w/o worry of being sued. If a teacher struck a student the student probably deserved it. When my daughter was a senior, the students had such a lack of responsibility…Their were students spitting tobacco juice in the floor. No worry the janitor will clean it up. There was a girl that came to school high on xanex and I think she left on a gurney…. The football team started dropping players when the players found out they would drug tested; what does that tell you. A student got grabbed by the arm and got a bruise? I think we should ask why did the teacher have to grab a student. Student’s have gotten the impression they can do whatever they want, b/c the teaching staff can’t do anything about it…..it is time for a change….And that change should start with the teachers being known as an authority figure and someone to be listened to.

    • unbelievable

      I agree with you. If these kids had a fear that they would get in trouble they would behave better. I hear everyone talking about this generation and how disrespectful etc they are but when I think about it who is to blame? The parents!!!! My mom and dad spanked all of us and we knew if we got in trouble at school or anywhere else we would get it double at home. I got “licks” one time at school in the 2nd grade and it embarassed me enough that I swore I would NEVER get in trouble again and I never did. I’m not scarred for life because of a spanking. This timeout Bull is ridiculous just like this stupid clipping up and down that they do all day long.
      I would have to say that if this teacher walked up behind him he obviously was not sitting down like he should have been,.

      • PRINCESS

        I couldn’t agree more. This particular group is out of control, and parents don’t care! They don’t raise their kids with any manners and expect school personnel to deal with their mistakes. I hate to see the state our country will be in within the next twenty years with this generation running things. It’ll be a joke. The only thing these kids want is free time to play on their phones. If parents would do their job, teachers could do theirs.

      • Sean

        There’s a case on Judge Jim Spears’ record where he ripped children away from their mother because the mother made one of the kids do 20 push-ups for getting in trouble at school.

        Jim Spears said this was abusive, and placed the kids in the custody of the father who had already walked away and given up custody once.

        There were other factors at play though ie Greenwood City Prosecutor and Spears’ colleague Mike Hamby happens to be the seventh and current step-daddy of the absentee father Spears placed the children with (this is after DHS removed one child from the father for abuse).

        My point is, as a parent, knowing people like Spears exist, I don’t feel as though I’m allowed to be as an effective parent as I could be.

    • atc8824

      He was running but if I bruised my child DHS would be breathing down my neck.My child is not as bad as you talk and you dont know him.He has high grades,drug free and volunteers for school functions.So stick that in your hat and call it macorroni.

      • Bilz

        So b/c your child has high grades, volunteers and is drug free; this makes your child immune from the rules of the school that all other children are supposed to abide by? Was your child running in the halls or under the canopy? I b/l either makes for a dangerous situation or liability suit, should the running student accidentally trip and fall or knock another student down. And I seriously doubt that DHS would be breathing down your neck for keeping your child safe….

    • tealrose1

      Actually those teachers and school have NO fear of being sued .. as they all have immunity, even if they paddle a child whose parents signed against it, in some schools they can paddle children without parental consent! Even if a child they paddle is put in ER, or worse permanently injured.

      Schools and parents yes, need to discipline children. Discipline btw means to teach and not to hit. You should know that in the USA around 92% of all children ARE still spanked aka hit at home, and regularly .. and it obviously isn’t working, let alone right. 19 States STILL are allowed to use what amounts to a weapon on a child, ie a wooden paddle, when even criminals in jail are not allowed to be hit.

      What about using your empathy and instead of jumping to the teacher’s defence at once in this .. think it through .. ask yourself WHY a teacher would leave marks on a child.. FROM BEHIND ? Remember your youth .. remember that teachers are humans and as such DO have bad days, are spiteful and nasty, do pick on the same child over and over again, and some are downright pedofiles.

      Teach your children to listen to authority .. and then teach them to decide if it SHOULD be obeyed .. or not. Because if you teach them to jump to command by a teacher or coach or pastor …. you are setting those children up to easily be taken advantage of and abused. You are going to hear the cries of ‘ But I was only following orders !!!! ‘ by soldiers and the like in the dock charged with war crimes.

      If you want and need respect .. then earn it. Teach and show a child what it is. You don’t just get it because you are over the age of majority. If you don’t respect a child, and you hit it .. then you have NO right to have respect from that child. Respect and FEAR btw are two very diffierent things.

      Dropping out of the football team because of being drug tested ? Seems perfectly fine to me … after all .. I wouldn’t take kindly to be drug tested either …No one should be .. unless they are in charge of children, pilots,bus drivers etc ….

  • Sean

    If it’s anything like theFt Smith school district the district will circle the wagons, find a way to blame the child and bury this so they pretend they’re surprised when it happens again.

      • Sean

        im sorry to hear that. I actually inquired about Van Buren when I saw some disturbing behavior from the ft smith school district, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to having to move out of the area for my kids to get a decent education and not be subjected to personal attacks from administration.

        Some people above want to blame the parents and yeah their are some parents who should get blamed, but there are also many good parents who are threatened, blackmailed, blackballed and terrorized by their own kids schools (for the record my kids make A’s with an occasional B, NEVER get in trouble except two or three “too much talking” warnings).

        I used to love this area, but as I’ve matured and gotten to know people I can now see it for the filthy armpit it is.

      • FedUp

        and that was the parents fault for not paying their bill. It all goes back to you worthless parents that either do not take care of your kids or you think they are above being made to behave. whip their rears and maybe someone wouldn’t have to whack them. I know of one parent that thought it was funny that her child got in the principals face and yelled at him. I guess it wasn’t her fault that her child was a liar, drug user, school skipping piece of trash

  • Julie Worley

    WATCH 3 min. trailer for Documentary Movie “The Board of Education” by Jared Abrams Exposing Violent Corporal Pain Punishment of children, even against parents’ wishes, in Public Schools based on where they live, protected by law! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vt4v7KsFi8

    Also See School Paddling Blog dot com and decide for yourself if you want school teachers, coaches and administrators hitting your child kindergarten through twelfth grade with big wooden spanking paddles to inflict pain punishment for minor infractions, illegal in public schools in 31 states and not practiced in 6 states where it legally persists on state statutes. There is No Way for schools to prevent cell phone recording and sharing of school paddlings of children.

    See 2008 Report “A Violent Education” by Human Rights Watch and ACLU for disturbing facts including photos of actual shaved baseball bats used by educators to hit children in America’s public schools.

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