You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Teacher accused of assaulting special needs students


Authorities arrested a North Carolina elementary school teacher on suspicion of assaulting a child with disabilities by using hands and objects, police in Cramerton, North Carolina, confirmed on Monday.

Penny Barker, a 42-year-old special needs teacher at McAdenville Elementary School, has been suspended with pay since Jan. 24. She is facing two counts of assault on a child under 12 years of age and two counts of assault on a handicapped person.

>> Read more trending stories

She is due in court on April 3. 

Warrants showed that Barker allegedly grabbed a 6-year-old boy by the ears and picked him up off the ground, which caused cuts. The warrants also allege she squeezed a cold, soaked stuffed animal over the head of a 5-year-old child, causing the water to fall onto the child's body.

The alleged crimes occurred between Oct. 1, 2016 and Feb. 4, police said.

Parents told WSOCTV that they planned with school leaders Tuesday morning. Several parents said they were notified about the arrest through media reports, and not through the school.

"The kids as it is don't have a voice and us as their parents, we have to be their voice," said Christopher Jennings, a parent of children with disabilities at McAdenville Elementary. "It is absolutely sickening."

Parents are calling for more transparency at the school and are worried there potentially could be more victims.

"Our kids with disabilities should not be treated any differently than a normal child," Amber Jennings said. "You need to realize if you're going to take on a position and be a special needs teacher you have to understand the children you're going to be dealing with on a daily basis."

Barker was released from the Gaston County Jail and after being placed under a $10,000 secured bond.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Three ways the ‘sanctuary cities’ bill could affect Austin
Three ways the ‘sanctuary cities’ bill could affect Austin

With the Texas House’s late-night approval of the bill to ban so-called sanctuary cities, the measure will all but certainly become law. The Senate has already approved Senate Bill 4, and Gov. Greg Abbott has made signing it one of his top priorities for this legislative session. Here are some ways that the bill could affect Austin: 1. Travis...
More than 20 Austin-area high schools make U.S. News’ national ranking
More than 20 Austin-area high schools make U.S. News’ national ranking

U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of best high schools in America is out, and Austinites are sure to recognize a local school that cracked the top 50.  The Liberal Arts and Science Academy, housed at the Lyndon B. Johnson High School campus, ranked the highest of Austin-area schools on the national list. No stranger to various ...
TxDOT launches motorcycle awareness campaign as riding season gets into high gear
TxDOT launches motorcycle awareness campaign as riding season gets into high gear

The Texas Department of Transportation is again asking drivers to keep an eye out for motorcyclists as they hit the highways over the next few months. TxDOT officials joined city leaders, emergency medical personnel and motorcyclists on Thursday morning to launch the “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign ahead of Motorcycle...
Ohio man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria
Ohio man accused of trying to join ISIS in Syria

An Ohio man is in federal custody, facing charges related to attempting to provide material support to terrorist group ISIS. FBI agents on the Joint Terrorism Task Force on Wednesday arrested Laith Waleed Alebbini, 26, at Cincinnati/Kentucky International Airport. Alebbini was on his way to Syria to join ISIS fighters, the FBI said. Authorities said...
DRIVE-BY SHOOTING: UT police investigate incident near Dean Keeton, San Jacinto streets
DRIVE-BY SHOOTING: UT police investigate incident near Dean Keeton, San Jacinto streets

University of Texas and Austin police are on the hunt for a gunman following reports of a drive-by shooting on campus Thursday morning. The scene unfolded near the intersection of Dean Keeton and San Jacinto streets just after 10 a.m., when man in a white sedan shot at an unidentified person that he apparently knew, University police said in a...
More Stories