A Utah County high school teacher was cited for child abuse Thursday after police say he put his hands around a student’s neck and shoulders and pinned him to the floor.
Utah County Sheriff’s officials say that shortly after 9 a.m. Thursday, Rockwell Charter High School teacher Anthony Robbie Chidester had a “disagreement” with a 14-year-old student who was not following instructions.
Chidester allegedly put his hands on the student's neck and shoulders and pushed him into a wall, then threw him to the floor and held him there.
The student had minor injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.
Administrators asked Chidester, 40, to leave the school after learning of the incident, according to the sheriff’s office. He is listed on the school’s website as a physical education/health teacher, but he told the Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday that he was fired.
Deputies interviewed Chidester at his home, according to the sheriff’s office, and he was cited for class A misdemeanor child abuse. Criminal charges had not been filed as of Thursday afternoon.
“I am absolutely mortified by this experience and truly sorry for my actions. I am so sorry to the young man and his family and feel just gutted from this experience,” Chidester said in a statement. “I allowed an incident of disrespect, bullying, teasing and insubordination from a student to escalate.”
In the statement, Chidester said that he is threatened and bullied by students every day he works. He said that doesn’t excuse his behavior, but he also “[doesn’t] think people realize the conditions that we have to teach in."