Wednesday, March 18, 2009

LA: Teacher fired after investigation of abuse claims

Posted: March 17, 2009 11:44 PM EDT
Updated: March 18, 2009 07:59 AM EDT
By Keitha Nelson

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge teacher has been fired after a mother says he grabbed her son around the neck, sending him to the hospital.

The alleged attack happened last Wednesday at Glen Oaks Middle School. Anthony Percy's mother says the school's principal saved her son. In an incident report, Dr. Michael Eskridge said he saw a teacher with his hand around Anthony Percy's neck.

The teacher, Jeffrey Greenwald, reportedly had the 13-year-old pressed against the doorway of a classroom. "He just choked me," Percy said. "Then, when the principal came, he said, 'You can't do that to a child.' And then he said, 'Oh, I'm sorry.'"

Sheleith Givens says her son's name was not on a list to get into the classroom where Greenwald stood checking names. It's not clear exactly what led to the alleged choking. Givens says she simply can't believe it. "'Cause, when I let my children out in the morning to go to school, I'm expecting they're in care, like they're in care with me."

Percy's neck is currently tilted to the right because, according to doctor reports, his neck was strained and muscle fibers were stretched out of place. "My other teachers would never do that to me. He's the only one," said Percy.

Givens says she's grateful Eskridge stepped in and helped her son, but even though Greenwald has been fired, she believes more needs to be done. "I'm not satisfied with him just getting laid off," she said. "It's easy. He'll find another job. My concern is will he ever try to do this to another child."

Annie Morrison, the school's spokesperson with Advance Baton Rouge, says an investigation was conducted immediately after the incident. She says Greenwald was put on leave and after the investigation was complete, he was fired.

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