Fayetteville, N.C. – A teacher from Cumberland County was charged with striking a disabled student in her class last fall.
April Caudill, 37, of 5748 Pepperbush Drive in Fayetteville, was charged on Monday with the offense of assaulting a disabled person and released on an unsecured bond of $ 1,000.
Caudill has been suspended with salary from her teaching position in a class with special needs at J.W. Coon Elementary School since October 23, the day the assault is alleged to have taken place.
According to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, a school guard heard Caudill screaming at a classmate who was crying, then the guard then saw the teacher hitting the child strong enough to force him to bend twice.
Investigators said that the video of the incident shows Caudill using his open hand to hit the student with special needs twice. The student, who is non-verbal and suffers from seizures, normally wears a hard hat but does not wear it at that time, investigators said.
"Because the injuries they suffered when they were younger forced them to wear a helmet, then hit the child in the head while they were supposed to wear a helmet and that is not the case, it's causing a lot of concern, "said Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Sean Swain.
The student was not injured in the incident, the authorities said.
"We take this case very seriously and do not tolerate violence against students or staff – the safety of all students and staff is paramount," said officials at Cumberland County School in a statement. communicated. "When school officials were first informed of allegations of inappropriate behavior, they immediately notified the police and suspended the employee involved."
Swain said that the student's situation made it more difficult to gather evidence, which is why it took almost three months to file a lawsuit against Caudill.
Caudill has been working in Cumberland County Schools since 2004. She has been with J.W. Coon Elementary since 2011.