West Lake teacher charged with abuse of a student
Court • Incident involved woman throwing a soda can at a 14-year-old.
Published: April 4, 2012 10:45AM
Updated: April 4, 2012 10:55AM

A Granite School District special education teacher was charged with child abuse for pushing a student and then hitting him with a pop can, according to prosecutors.

Court records state on Feb. 29 a 14-year-old male student was hurt while attending school at West Lake Junior High School at 3400 S. 3450 West.

The teacher was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with child abuse, a class A misdemeanor.

The student said he walked into class with a soda pop, which upset the teacher, according to charging documents. He then argued with the teacher about the drink, drank the soda, and threw the soda can in the garbage.

The student said the teacher grew angrier because of the student’s actions. The teacher removed the soda can from the trash and “smashed it in his hand,” charges state.

The teacher pushed the teen out of the classroom and picked up the can and threw it at him, hitting him in the shoulder and causing scratch marks to his arm and back, the teen states in charging documents.

Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said the school already took “appropriate action” against the teacher before charges were filed and she is still employed with the district. Horsley said the student was “acting inappropriately,” but acknowledged the teacher handled the situation in an “inappropriate way.”

This isn’t the first incident of Granite School District teachers becoming frustrated and being charged with child abuse. In September 2011, an 11-year-old student at another school in the district played his instrument out of turn and the teacher became frustrated and hit the student on the leg with her violin bow.

Regardless of the incident, Horsley said when there are accusations of abuse, it is policy and procedure to take action internally, report it to police and also take the incident to prosecutors to see if further action is needed.

Horsley doesn’t feel there are more child abuse incidents compared to other districts; he says to keep students safe the district takes action “even in the most minor incidents.”

cimaron@sltrib.com

Twitter: @CimCity