Teacher caught on video grabbing kindergartner by face, could face charges

Video shows the teacher picking up Ian by his shirt and face.
Video shows the teacher picking up Ian by his shirt and face.
6-year-old Ian
6-year-old Ian

HANCOCK COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) - Anthony and Autumn Nelson, of Wharton, have two kids in Riverdale Schools in Hancock County. Their 6-year-old son, Ian, is a kindergartner. In surveillance video provided by the family on May 7, Ian is shown walking to the school bathroom.

When he comes out a short time later, his teacher confronts him. She grabs him and picks him up against the wall. Seconds later, she grabs him by the face and then by the shirt. His head flops back as she picks him up off the floor.

Ian's parents are furious.

On Tuesday, the teacher was suspended for 10 days.

"I would consider what would happen to myself, if I were to do that to her. If I were to do that to her, I would go to jail," said Anthony Nelson, Ian's father.

"He was in the other room and I watched it out in the kitchen and I just started crying. I burst out in tears. I called my mom. I called his mom," said Autumn Nelson, Ian's mother.

The Nelsons say that 10-day suspension is like an early vacation for the teacher, since there are only 10 days left in the school year. They say they want her to be terminated from Riverdale Schools. The Nelsons took the video to the Hancock County Sheriff's Office to try to file criminal charges against the teacher. Ian's father says he complained about his son's teacher to the principal in November but his concerns were swept under the rug.

"We asked for him to be moved to a different classroom and we said can he please go to a different classroom and the principal told at that time that she's a highly recommended teacher and they are unwilling to transfer him to a different class," said Anthony Nelson.

The superintendent says this teacher has been with the district for 14 years and the reason this incident came to light is because a fellow staff member reported it last week.

"We haven't dealt with this much at Riverdale. First of all I apologize to the parents. This should not happen," said Eric Hoffman, Superintendent, Riverdale Local Schools.

Ian's father says something must be done.

"I don't think she should be teaching anymore. I mean honestly in this type of situation, there's no one that should ever put their hands on a child," said Nelson.

For now, the teacher's 10 day suspension stands, but that could change depending the outcome of the Hancock County Sheriff's investigation.

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