Al­covy teacher ar­rested on bat­tery charges

In­ci­dent re­ported to ad­min­is­tra­tors by other school staff mem­bers

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Michelle Kim

A spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher and a para­pro­fes­sional at Al­covy High School were ar­rested and charged Thurs­day af­ter­noon with cru­elty to chil­dren in the first de­gree and sim­ple bat­tery, ac­cord­ing to the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

Der­rick Roberts, a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion teacher, and para­pro­fes­sional Nanette Surber were brought in for ques­tion­ing and charged af­ter other teach­ers re­ported wit­ness­ing their ac­tions against a se­verely hand­i­capped, non- ver­bal stu­dent, said NCSO In­ves­ti­ga­tor Sharon Ste­wart.

Ste­wart said it was possi- ble there had been more than one in­ci­dent of abuse, but that the case was still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sherri Viniard, New­ton County School Sys­tem di­rec­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions, said the cen­tral of­fice is aware of the al­le­ga­tions.

“An­other school em­ployee came for­ward to ex­press con­cerns about a pos­si­ble in­ci­dent that oc­curred in one of our class­rooms,” Viniard said. “ The prin­ci­pal im­me­di­ately ini­ti­ated an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the sher­iff’s of­fice was called.”

Viniard said NCSS em­ploy­ees are work­ing closely with law en­force­ment of­fi­cials on their in­ves­ti­ga­tion and no­tify- ing all par­ents of the stu­dents who might have wit­nessed the in­ci­dent.

She said other per­son­nel will cover the teacher’s classes dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“ We want to as­sure par­ents,” Viniard said, “ that the well be­ing of our stu­dents is

our pri­mary con­cern.”

A fourth-grade spe­cial edu- cation teacher at Mid­dle Ridge El­e­men­tary School re­signed in Fe­bru­ary af­ter be­ing charged with a sim­ple bat­tery misde- meanor for slap­ping and rough han­dling a 11-year-old stu­dent with at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der and ob­ses­sive

com­pul­sive dis­or­der.

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