Goliad sheriff's office investigates report teacher mistreating student

Jon Wilcox By Jon Wilcox

Nov. 14, 2017 at 9:06 p.m.
Updated Nov. 14, 2017 at 10:50 p.m.

   mct graphic for The Victoria Advocate

Sheriff's investigators are looking into whether a teacher at Goliad Elementary School roughly handled a 5-year-old student Monday morning.

"She just snatched him from the table and threw him to the other side," said Goliad County mother Chelsea Rubio Burnett, 26.

The mother said her son was eating breakfast at the school's cafeteria when his teacher grabbed his arm and yanked him out of his seat with excessive force. The alleged incident did not injure the boy but did leave him upset, the mother said.

"I don't put my hands on my son in that manner, and I'll be damned if anyone else does," Burnett said. "It is not right for a child to be scared (like that)."

Capt. John Pape of the Goliad County Sheriff's Office, said investigators should finish their work by the end of the week. In the meantime, Goliad school district officials have placed the 52-year-old teacher on paid, administrative leave, said Superintendent Dave Plymale.

School officials are conducting an investigation of their own into the teacher, who has worked for the district for about four years, Plymale said.

"State law prevents me from commenting on personnel issues," he said.

Sheriff's investigators will review the cafeteria's video camera footage and interview witnesses.

Those witnesses include Burnett's mother, who works in the cafeteria.

And although her mother did not see the teacher grab Burnett's son, the mother said other employees in the cafeteria did.

Still, video camera footage should prove key, Pape said.

Burnett admitted her son has gotten into trouble before at school but described the boy as an average 5-year-old.

And whatever his behavior, she said, teachers and school staff have no place physically disciplining students, she said.


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