Grovetown Elementary teacher charged with battery

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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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Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 09/13/11 - 06:25 pm
0
0
Perhaps teachers and public

Perhaps teachers and public educationshould be eliminated altogether and parents resort to home-schooling. It is becoming increasingly difficult for students these days to behave appropriately in the classroom and apparently the teachers are unable to deal with the children either.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 09/13/11 - 08:12 pm
0
0
I'm with you Ilove. It sounds

I'm with you Ilove. It sounds like the teacher had been pushed to the limit. Based on the story, I disagree with the charge of battery as well. If that is battery, us kids of my generation suffered assault! What a bunch of pansies we have become. It is sickening.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 09/13/11 - 08:24 pm
0
0
Although I will agree

Although I will agree teachers have their hands full with students these days, we should remember that this is a 9 year old, not a 14 or 16 year old. I don't agree with the battery charge either but no one, no parent, no teacher, no one should ever call a child a "loser" and tell hiim he should quit (not sure with how the sentence is written whether the teacher was referring to himself or to the student).

raul
5500
Points
raul 09/13/11 - 08:30 pm
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0
From what I understand, it

From what I understand, it doesn't sound like the teacher has any rights to due process. Is he probationary? I am thinking not, as he has been teaching for four years. Sounds like Mr. Nagle has made up his mind. With no prior disciplinary action on record it would appear something less than termination would be in order. Read the legal definition of simple battery. It doesn't take much to meet that threshold.
@Vito45. I remember getting a spanking with a paddle from the gym teachers if you wore the wrong color socks. Not that it was right. Just sayin.

dougk
3
Points
dougk 09/13/11 - 08:40 pm
0
0
Yes, I remember that. We had
Unpublished

Yes, I remember that. We had devotions, sang hymns and said prayers in the morning. Then, the rest of the day the teachers spanked us, twisted our ears, and slapped us around. Dang, the good ol' days!!

SCyankee
0
Points
SCyankee 09/13/11 - 08:46 pm
0
0
i'll guarantee there is more
Unpublished

i'll guarantee there is more to this story, but CC will not tolerate anything remotely close to this. so it's better to Arrest, Convict, and Execute before it ever see's a court room, that way no one will cry "lawsuit" later on.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 09/13/11 - 08:47 pm
0
0
No dougk, the rest of the day

No dougk, the rest of the day we sat in our chairs, listened to the lesson the teacher had prepared, did our work quietly, and actually learned something (well most of us did).

dougk
3
Points
dougk 09/13/11 - 09:03 pm
0
0
we didn't go to the same
Unpublished

we didn't go to the same school, ICL.

allhans
24456
Points
allhans 09/13/11 - 09:03 pm
0
0
ICL..YES!

ICL..YES!

billyjones1949
1
Points
billyjones1949 09/13/11 - 09:10 pm
0
0
I can remember having to lay

I can remember having to lay my hands flat on the desk in the 3rd grade and the teacher hit my knuckles with a ruler for chewing gum. Also had to bend over in gym class and get 5 likcks from the coach on the butt-hurt and embrassed me. But I never acted up again. Got it again from my dad when I got home. Also got a whippen for pulling up my mothers flowers in the front yard. I must have been a bad kid-just teasing. But I turned out very well. These kids being raised by very liberal parents or no parents need what we used to get but the teacher would go to jail now. Too bad for the kids and society.

raul
5500
Points
raul 09/13/11 - 09:19 pm
0
0
Funny how most of the time

Funny how most of the time the school administration will comment that this is a personnel issue and no comment is forthcoming. Whereas in this situation he has been tried, convicted, and executed by high level administration.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 09/13/11 - 09:40 pm
0
0
My second grade teacher made

My second grade teacher made me put my hands palm up on the desk so she could pop my hands with a ruler for not having my homework. They next time it happened she picked me up by the ear and took be to sit outside in the hall to do it. She was mean as ..... But it worked.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/13/11 - 09:59 pm
0
0
I have to agree with dougk,

I have to agree with dougk, there was both good and bad in our school days. I remember being excited about school and loved the interaction with both students and teachers. First grade was awesome. But, secound grade, was a completely different experience. I was a talker and like billyjones1949, got my knuckles spanked right off. I didn't tell my parents. But the next week I came home with the skin pulled off my lips from the taping the teacher gave me to silence my questions. My Dad went to school with me the next morning and told the teacher that if I became a discipline problem, she was to call him to come to the classroom and that if she ever put her hands on me again, he would do the same to her. In the third grade, the teacher began the year by spanking the students in front of the class. She would pull up the girls dresses and expose their underwear while she administered the paddling. When it became my turn to be paddled in front of the class for singing a child's song in the girls bathroom, I suggested to her that she would be very wise to check with the second grade teacher first. I was the only girl in the 3rd grade who did not have her panties shown to the entire classroom nor did I receive any paddling for singing the little song quietly in the bathroom.

If this reporting is true, the biggest loser is this teacher.

rmajor
8
Points
rmajor 09/13/11 - 10:01 pm
0
0
No...kids need

No...kids need discipline...not abuse. This loser of a teacher is the one with low self-esteem and brought that spirit to that classroom. And yes, Patty P, I do homeschool. Not because of psychotics like this one, but to take the time to ensure that my son is getting what he needs. His school was great and Nagle and the entire Columbia County Board of Education is great. At my son's elementary, school, this kind of narcissism would have never happened. This is abuse...not discipline. This was destructive, criticism....not constructive criticism. There may be more to the story, however, that's why we are called ADULTS and they are called CHILDREN. We should know how to handle situations better than they and should know how to control children without resorting to verbal, abuse. Discipline and abuse are two totally different things.

rmajor
8
Points
rmajor 09/13/11 - 10:04 pm
0
0
Why would paper be covering

Why would paper be covering the window anyway? I know...kids distracted right? Yeah, ok. What's in the dark, always, always, comes to the light. No matter how long it seems to be gotten away with.

Little Lamb
47856
Points
Little Lamb 09/13/11 - 10:05 pm
0
0
Patty-P wrote: . . . so she

Patty-P wrote:

. . . so she could pop my hands with a ruler for not having my homework. . . .

Homework is so important. I learned more from my homework than from any classroom activity.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/13/11 - 10:22 pm
0
0
rmajor, yes, that is a

rmajor, yes, that is a wonderful truth.

raul
5500
Points
raul 09/13/11 - 10:28 pm
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@Willow. Your third grade

@Willow. Your third grade teacher was the worst kind of teacher. She probably got off to humiliating the little kids.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/13/11 - 10:37 pm
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That was my take on her

That was my take on her raul, even as a child. My dad is gone now but it's a good time for me to say, what a difference a loving/discipling father makes in a child's life. Good book for dads with daughters to read.."Always Daddy's Girl".

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 09/14/11 - 05:26 am
0
0
I guess I can say then, I am

I guess I can say then, I am blessed because I have very fond memories of my grade school years. I remember several of my teachers with the greatest respect and can only recall once in the third grade being struck. My teacher popped me on the top of the head with a fly swatter while in the "bull pen" at recess because I was suppose to stand against the school building as punishment for talking and not socialize with the other classmates who were having fun running around and playing.

gaflyboy
5151
Points
gaflyboy 09/14/11 - 06:04 am
0
0
This fourth grade class just

This fourth grade class just learned an important lesson ... unfortunately, it's not one they should learn. And we wonder what's wrong with our society today!

BTW, according to WJBF, in addition to being fired, Mr. Johnson is also faces a $1,000 fine and a year in prison.

mikeelliott
85
Points
mikeelliott 09/14/11 - 08:32 am
0
0
I am from the good old days

I am from the good old days also...abuse from the teachers...and then the parents when we got home. (They knew everything when they asked us if anything unusual happened at school that day!)
Thankful for every discipline I received, probably needed more.
Just heard a statisic from an Augusta inner-city school this week from a principal:97% of the students had no fathers in their lives. I think many adults need to be disciplined along with the kids. Our S.S. class is partnering with many of the kids with clothing and mentoring. Better than just throwing money at the problem. Request prayers for this ministry. Thanks!

kiwiinamerica
961
Points
kiwiinamerica 09/14/11 - 08:40 am
0
0
I know a teacher who hung a
Unpublished

I know a teacher who hung a kid out of an upstairs window by his ankles. That was back in the day. Excellent disciplinary procedure, IMHO.

I feel truly sorry for this teacher. We need more like him to whip into shape the feral "yoot" who populate our schools.

This is how it is in today's public schools, folks.

The teachers are afraid of the principals.
The principals are afraid of the Board of Education.
The Board of Education is afraid of the parents.
The parents are afraid of the kids.
The kids are afraid of no one.

happychimer
19347
Points
happychimer 09/14/11 - 09:37 am
0
0
Calling a 9 yr. old a loser

Calling a 9 yr. old a loser is not disipline. From most of the comments here, anyone should know not to trust anyone with their kids . Go to school and check on your kids. Pay surprise visits, and talk to your kids. Let them know they can tell you anything.Listen to your kids. Don't dismiss what they tell you. Find out the truth and don't trust others with your kids. The only ones I totally trusted with mine was my parents. I had a sitter one time I trusted, but my child talked to me, and I asked him questions, and he liked going to her house. She was good to my son.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/14/11 - 11:39 am
0
0
I am not trying to get a

I am not trying to get a contest going with anyone, but what some say, shows they have no understanding of the problem.

Kids are fearful and what they are acting out is their own fears and insecurities as well as the pain of the dysfunctional families that they are living in.

This teacher is no more than a child in an adult body with unresolved childhood issues. I don't approve of his behavior, and think he needs to be removed from that classroom. However, I don't think he should be fired. I think he should be required to attend counselling with a doctor who can help him resolve his own issues and then perhaps reapply.

We all need discipline from an early age. The longer it is put off, the greater the problems. Discipline is different from punishment and abuse. Punishment tries to change behavior, discipline is designed to change and heal the heart and then the behavior will follow.

Our problem is we are an All or Nothing society. Maybe in our day, the punishment swung to the ALL side, and so today it is swinging to the NOTHING side. It would be helpful for us to realize that there is something between the two extremes. We are living in a generation of problem children to be sure, but also a generation of problematic adults who can't show love, or have a real, emotionally honest or intimate healthy relationship with others. i.e., Rules without love, or No rules and toxic love.

Teachers can not be allowed the opportunity to come to the end of their rope in the classroom. The school system must make it safe for the teacher to ask for help in classroom management. Until everyone learns how to get real with others, the problems will magnify. Rather than building more sports facilities, our schools need to invest in the teachers and the students. The guidance counsellor position has out grown its ability to be effective in the school system beyond testing, guiding and preparing for college prep. Schools need a behavioural psychologist available on site to offer counselling and provide proactive programs.

1141jsmedina
0
Points
1141jsmedina 09/14/11 - 11:50 am
0
0
There is more to story, Why

There is more to story, Why did the kid say anything to his parents?
The call was to early, They have him guilty from the begging, not fair!!!!

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/14/11 - 11:59 am
0
0
The other side of the story

The other side of the story may be enlightening, but it doesn't change the facts. This teacher and teachers like him, have a problem and are not fit to teach without further training and changing. Mr. Nagel did the right thing.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/14/11 - 12:03 pm
0
0
And he didn't tell his

And he didn't tell his parents out of shame and possibly fear. Like happychimer said earlier, we should let our kids know that they can tell us anything. It doesn't mean we will always approve or agree, it just means we will support, love, encourage and provide the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.

happychimer
19347
Points
happychimer 09/14/11 - 12:20 pm
0
0
Willow I agree, and this is a

Willow I agree, and this is a 9 yr old child. If a teacher called my 8 yr old grandson a loser, I would be at that school in no time flat! and my grandson does not even live with us. Anyone who calls a young child a loser is not fit to teach anyone.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 09/14/11 - 12:41 pm
0
0
He's a blessed boy,

He's a blessed boy, happy.

Healthy teachers model respect, not anger, while setting appropriate boundaries and applying age appropriate consequences. Losing privileges usually works the best.

I do hope the teacher receives help and I am confident that Mr. Nagel has concern and compassion for him.

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