Grovetown Elementary teacher charged with battery

A Grovetown Elementary School teacher has been charged with battery after being accused of abusing a 9-year-old pupil.

Fourth-grade teacher Kenric Easton Johnson, 27, of Augusta, was charged Friday with simple battery after an incident involving one of his pupils Thursday.

Johnson was overheard yelling in his classroom at the school on Ford Avenue, according to a Grove­town Department of Public Safety incident report. A witness said he went to the classroom door but couldn’t see inside because paper covered the window.

The witness said he heard Johnson telling a student to leave the room and that nobody wanted him there. He also heard Johnson threaten to suspend the pupil and tell him he might as well quit because things were not going to get better, calling him a “loser,” according to the report.

The witness said the yelling stopped as he was about to go into the classroom. He told Principal Scott Weinard about the incident.

“We don’t condone child abuse, period,” Columbia County Superin­tendent Charles Nagle said.

He called the incident a bad decision on Johnson’s part.

“I hate it for the teacher. Based on the information I’ve gotten, I have no indication anything like this as ever happened before,” Nagle said.

Several of the pupil’s classmates apparently told their parents, who called the school Friday morning, Nagle said. The pupil didn’t tell his parents, but school officials asked them to bring him to school.

The pupil and his classmates said Johnson pulled the boy from his desk by his collar and told him to go to the office, the report stated. As the pupil was leaving, Johnson grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back into the room, the report stated.

A police investigation Friday led to Johnson’s misdemeanor charge. He was released after posting bond, Grovetown Department of Public Safety Capt. Scott Wheatley said.

Johnson has been on administrative leave since his arrest, Nagle said.

School officials performed an internal investigation, leading to a recommendation to Nagle that Johnson be terminated or allowed to resign.

“I’m probably going to uphold the principal’s recommendation (to the school board),” Nagle said.

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