Teacher accused of assaulting special needs students


Authorities arrested a North Carolina elementary school teacher on suspicion of assaulting a child with disabilities by using hands and objects, police in Cramerton, North Carolina, confirmed on Monday.

Penny Barker, a 42-year-old special needs teacher at McAdenville Elementary School, has been suspended with pay since Jan. 24. She is facing two counts of assault on a child under 12 years of age and two counts of assault on a handicapped person.

>> Read more trending stories

She is due in court on April 3. 

Warrants showed that Barker allegedly grabbed a 6-year-old boy by the ears and picked him up off the ground, which caused cuts. The warrants also allege she squeezed a cold, soaked stuffed animal over the head of a 5-year-old child, causing the water to fall onto the child's body.

The alleged crimes occurred between Oct. 1, 2016 and Feb. 4, police said.

Parents told WSOCTV that they planned with school leaders Tuesday morning. Several parents said they were notified about the arrest through media reports, and not through the school.

"The kids as it is don't have a voice and us as their parents, we have to be their voice," said Christopher Jennings, a parent of children with disabilities at McAdenville Elementary. "It is absolutely sickening."

Parents are calling for more transparency at the school and are worried there potentially could be more victims.

"Our kids with disabilities should not be treated any differently than a normal child," Amber Jennings said. "You need to realize if you're going to take on a position and be a special needs teacher you have to understand the children you're going to be dealing with on a daily basis."

Barker was released from the Gaston County Jail and after being placed under a $10,000 secured bond.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Officials: Rapper flew drugs across U.S., sold them from apartments he rented
Officials: Rapper flew drugs across U.S., sold them from apartments he rented

An Atlanta rapper, accused of running a cross-country drug operation, was denied bond Tuesday, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Terrell Davis, known by his stage name “Ralo,” faces a federal charge of possession with intent to distribute. Authorities allege Davis sold drugs from several apartment units he rents in Atlanta dubbed &ldquo...
04/25 Mike Luckovich: I wanna hold your hand.
04/25 Mike Luckovich: I wanna hold your hand.

Ex-mayor Kasim Reed doles out $500k in bonuses, gifts on way out
Ex-mayor Kasim Reed doles out $500k in bonuses, gifts on way out

Just days before former Mayor Kasim Reed left office, his administration showered select city employees with more than $518,000 in bonuses, and gifts that were presented during an “executive holiday party” at City Hall. The spending spree has left the police union outraged, taxpayers fuming and council members questioning its legality....
UPDATE: 1 killed, 1 critical in Fulton crash involving tractor-trailer
UPDATE: 1 killed, 1 critical in Fulton crash involving tractor-trailer

A 71-year-old woman was killed Tuesday during a crash involving a car, a Coca-Cola tractor-trailer and a tow truck, Chattahoochee Hills police confirmed.  The crash occurred on South Fulton Parkway near the Rivertown Road intersection, police Chief Stoney Mathis said.  The victim and a 31-year-old female passenger were flown to Atlanta Medical...
Atlanta City Hall: See who got bonuses from former mayor Kasim Reed
Atlanta City Hall: See who got bonuses from former mayor Kasim Reed

These Atlanta City Hall employees received bonuses from former Mayor Kasim Reed before he left office in January 2018.  NOTE: Job titles as designated in the former mayoral administration. Persons designated with an asterisk (*) no longer work for the city. J. Anthony “Jim” Beard*(resignation effective May 18) -- City...
More Stories