A substitute teacher in Bloomington is under investigation after several students say she hit them last week. Now, police are involved and trying to figure out if what the kids are saying merits misdemeanor assault charges.
Elijah Greenough, 10, said he would rather forget last Thursday morning. He told FOX 9 News a substitute teacher was filling in at his fifth grade class at Oak Grove Elementary in Bloomington when thins suddenly got weird. Greenough said students were trying to correct how the sub was pronouncing some of their names when she began cursing.
"She said, 'I don't give a crap what his name is,' and he said, 'I do,'" Greenough recalled. "She was yelling at us and swearing at us. She just started saying, 'Read, read. I don't give an f--- just read.' Then she calmed down and we started this project. "
Soon after that, Greenough and a few others were sent to a designated quiet room down the hall because they were talking. On the walk there , Greenough said the sub pulled his friend's hair and dug her nails into her neck. Immediately, he tried to pry the teacher and student apart.
"She basically slapped me on the shoulder and bear clawed me --that's what we call it, bear claw -- and then started doing that down the hallway," said Greenough.
Bloomington police interviewed other teachers at the schools and three victims. So far, they say all of the stories are consistent.
"I think it all happened the way these kids are saying," said Cmdr. Kevin Herman.
Officials say each child suffered minor, non-visible injuries that could rise to the level of misdemeanor assault charges.
"Very unique. I can't remember a case of a teacher actually assaulting a child, much less more than one within a day or an hour," Herman said. "It's a very unique situation."
Herman said the teacher was sent home before investigators arrived. Bloomington Public Schools wouldn't comment about the investigation, but they did send home a couple of letters with Greenough's 5th grade class to inform parents the substitute teacher would not be hired again.
"If you are having a meltdown or you are angry, then you excuse yourself. You yourself take a time out, and then you come back," said Elijah's mother, Yolonda Carter. "Don't take your anger or frustrations out on the kids because they are innocent."
Investigators plan to interview the substitute teacher on Tuesday. As of Monday, the teacher has not been arrested.
FOX 9 News tried to contact the teacher but she has not returned repeated phone calls.
205 N. Michigan Avenue
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