GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A teacher at a Kent County school for students with special needs is charged criminally for allegedly assaulting a student physically.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker confirmed to News 8 that his office issued a charge of fourth-degree child abuse against a teacher at Lincoln School.
The teacher, a 28-year-old woman from Walker, resigned her position after the accusation surfaced, school administrators told News 8.
The alleged victim was a 13-year-old male student, according to sources, and the incident happened inside the school, which is on Crahen Avenue NE near Leonard Street east of Grand Rapids.
News 8 is not identifying the teacher by name because she has yet to be arraigned, or officially charged, in court. The prosecutor, however, confirmed a warrant will be issued for misdemeanor child abuse.
Lincoln School educates students with complex special needs, including individuals with multiple severe impairments, moderate to severe cognitive disabilities and autism, according to its website. The school, which accepts students from kindergarten through age 26, is operated by the Kent Intermediate School District.
“The safety and wellbeing of students is the top priority at Kent ISD, and we take seriously any concerns or allegations related to student safety,” Kent ISD wrote in a statement to News 8. “Immediately upon notice of allegations of student mistreatment at Lincoln School, a teacher was placed on paid administrative leave and an investigation pursuant to Board Policy was promptly initiated by the Kent ISD administration. The investigation included reports to the appropriate outside agencies, as required by law. Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the teacher resigned from employment, which was effective immediately. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), a federal law governing the privacy of student information, as well as the ongoing law enforcement investigation, the ISD is not able to provide any further information. We remain committed to providing safe and supportive learning environments for all students.”
News 8 will track developments in the case.