Teacher suspended for allegedly grabbing kindergartner; video leaves mom in tears
Teacher suspended for allegedly grabbing 6-year-oldPlay Video
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An Ohio kindergarten teacher is suspended after a video shows her allegedly grabbing and shaking a 6-year-old boy.
Through tears, the boy's mother called for the educator's firing.
In a surveillance video from Riverdale Schools in Mt. Blanchard, Ian Nelson, 6, can be seen walking alone to the school bathroom. When he comes out, his teacher, Barb Williams, appears to pick him up and push him against the wall before grabbing his face and his shirt. She then picks him up again, and his neck appears to snap backward.
"I was crying,'' the boy's mother, Autumn Nelson, told TODAY's Katy Tur on Friday of watching the footage. "It broke my heart to see my child get harmed by a complete stranger."
"She did this to me — hard,'' Ian told TODAY while grabbing his shirt as his mother fought back tears.
Williams, who has been at the school for 14 years, is on unpaid leave for the next 10 days until summer break begins. She did not respond to TODAY's requests for comment. It remains unclear why she was upset with the boy.
"They should have fired her when they found out about the whole situation, that she put her hands on him,'' Nelson said.
Autumn and Ian's father, Anthony, did not think much of the incident, which was reported by another staff member, when they first heard of it. But then they saw the video.
"I was just in complete and utter shock,'' Autumn said.
The school has filed reports with the Hancock County Sheriff, the Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The family has hired a lawyer but has not taken any legal action against Williams or the school. The Hancock Police Department confirmed to TODAY that it has opened an investigation but did not comment further. Ian has been put in a new classroom with a different teacher for the remainder of the school year.
"You don't ever want somebody's child to go through that,'' Riverdale Local Schools superintendent Eric Hoffman told TODAY. "That's not what we're about. And we move forward."