Saturday, October 25, 2008

FL: Kingswood Teacher Charged With Abusing Student

By JOSH POLTILOVE The Tampa Tribune
Published: October 24, 2008
Updated: 09:19 pm

Kingswood Elementary School teacher Robert Nicholson was arrested today, charged with child abuse in an incident involving a student in his music class, Hillsborough County School District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said.

A 10-year-old boy accused Nicholson of grabbing him from behind Wednesday, wrapping arms around the boy's upper torso, near the neck, lifting him and carrying him about six feet to where he wanted the boy to be, Cobbe said. The boy said it was difficult to breathe.

The boy didn't have visible injuries.

Treshena Dixon said she reported the situation after the school tried to minimize the situation involving her son, a fifth-grader.

Dixon wrote in an e-mail to The Tampa Tribune that the sheriff's office "seemed reluctant" to arrest the teacher, who "was stating how sorry he was about the situation."

Nicholson has been placed on paid administrative leave while the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office investigates.

The veteran teacher has been investigated by the district twice before and was not disciplined either time.

In 1997 at McLane Middle School, a student accused him of grabbing her by the arm.

In 2001 at McLane, he squirted a student with a water pistol, Cobbe said.

Nicholson, 52, of Riverview, was arrested at 11 a.m. today at 3102 S. Kings Ave.
His bail was set at $2,000. He has been released.

Reporter Josh Poltilove can be reached at or (813) 259-7691.

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