Teacher Accused Of Biting Student With Special Needs
A West Texas elementary school teacher has been arrested after police say she bit a 4-year-old boy with autism because he wasn’t following instructions.
Kirsten Joelle Barnett, 25, of Abilene was charged with injury to a child, a third-degree felony. She faces a prison term of two to 10 years if convicted.
A teacher’s aide at Locust Early Childhood Center told authorities on Feb. 1 that Barnett put the student in a “restraining hold” and then bit him near his ear, KTXS-TV reported.
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The boy shouted “No!” and then started to rub his cheek, KTAB-TV/KRBC-TV reported.
The aide and another school employee later saw a “swollen bite mark” on the boy’s cheek, police said.
In a statement, Abilene ISD Superintendent David Young said the district “acted swiftly” in response to the incident.
“The teacher was immediately placed on leave during the course of the police investigation and has not returned to the classroom or interacted with students again,” he said. “She has subsequently resigned from the Abilene Independent School District.”
She is still listed as a staff member on the district’s website, however.
Barnett was booked into the Taylor County Detention Center on last week and released after posting $5,000 bond.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Barnett started working at the school in 2015.
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