Goliad teacher cleared by grand jury

Jon Wilcox By Jon Wilcox

Nov. 29, 2017 at 10:27 p.m.
Updated Nov. 30, 2017 at 11:38 a.m.

For a Goliad County grand jury, security camera footage was enough to reveal the truth about allegations of abuse lodged against a teacher.

"The best evidence is the video regardless of what people saw because the video shows the whole thing," said District Attorney Rob Lassmann.

A November grand jury cleared the 52-year-old Goliad Elementary School teacher of any potential criminal charges stemming from accusations made by a 5-year-old student's family.

Grand juries are responsible for determining whether sufficient evidence exists for a trial.

"It wasn't there," Lassmann said. "The teacher didn't do anything wrong."

Goliad Independent School District Superintendent Dave Plymale declined to comment.

Family members, including the student's grandmother, who was working in the school's cafeteria at the time, claimed the teacher grabbed the boy's arm and violently yanked him out of his seat. But Lassmann said the interaction he and grand jury members viewed did not match that description.

The teacher could have faced incarceration if charged and convicted, Lassmann said.

"When she picked him up, she didn't jerk him or grab him," Lassmann said. "She just very quickly removed him from the situation, which is what you do with a 5-year-old."

In fact, Lassmann said, the teacher acted in response to the 5-year-old child kicking another student. Judging by the video, that response was not perceived by the 5-year-old child as violent, he said.

"He was sitting there laughing and playing with the teacher when it was over," Lassmann said.


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