Police investigating substitute teacher for physically harassing students

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- A second grader alleges a teacher grabbed her by the neck and pushed her down during school. Now, police believe there are at least three other victims. The mother who called police wants other parents to know what happened.

"I saw my daughter being consoled and I thought what boy did what," said the mother who didn't want to be identified.

She said she knew something was up when she went to pick her daughter up from Hiteon Elementary School a few weeks ago.

"She told the teacher that was next to her, 'Hey I see my mom let me go,' because that's the protocol when they're young. The teacher usually reaches out to tap them on the shoulder so they know its OK. Well, when this teacher reached out to tap my daughter she kind of bowed back like an abused dog," explained the mom.

After that, she said she immediately took her 8-year-old daughter to the school office.

"I said, 'Tell me what's going on.' (My daughter said) 'The teacher, when I was tying my shoe, grabbed me from the back of the neck and pushed me to the floor to see the pencil that I had to pick up.' I said, 'what?'"

The mom feels like the school district wasn't taking the allegations seriously, so she called police later that day.

Police investigated and determined the teacher in question, a substitute, had also physically dealt with three other students in the same class.

She feels like the school district should have told parents about the alleged incidents because what happened involves young children who might be afraid to come forward.

"They have no case number, no reference to it, and now they're hiding behind the fact that there's an active police investigation," said the mom.

The police report says the teacher admitted to "guiding another student out of the room" by her shoulders. It also says the teacher admitted to touching the mom's daughter on the shoulder, and asked her to pick up a pencil. But the teacher denied pushing the girl by the neck.

"Obviously justice will take its course, right?," said the mom, "The point that needs to be made that I've been trying to put through to Beaverton School Education is why haven't the other parents that were not directly affected informed?"

The criminal case is in the hands of the city attorney. The investigating officer recommended in the police report that harassment charges be filed against the teacher in question. She hasn't been arrested.

The Beaverton School District told KATU they are cooperating with the investigation. If school were in session (it's currently on summer break), the teacher would not be allowed to be in classes during the investigation, the district said.