Teacher caught on camera grabbing kindergartner by the face

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(CNN) – An Ohio teacher was caught on camera grabbing a kindergartner in an apparent fit of anger, and now his parents are enraged.

Anthony and Autumn Nelson are still stunned by what happened to their 6-year-old son Ian last Wednesday. In a video they provided to us, the Riverdale School kindergartner is walking down the hallway to go to the bathroom.

The surveillance camera then shows his teacher, Barb Williams, confront him as he steps out of the bathroom. The teacher grabs Ian and pins him up against the wall, then grabs him by the face. It doesn’t end there. She picks him up by his shirt and his head flops back.

The boys father, Anthony Nelson, said: “We thought it was just a little incident that happened, and that’s what the school made it out to sound like. And then all of a sudden we get this video today and this is just outrageous.”

The Nelsons say Ian had a bruise to the back of his head. A letter Tuesday from Riverdale Superintendent Eric Hoffman informed Barb Williams that she is suspended for ten days without pay.

In his words: “Your repeated use of physical force was completely unwarranted and unprofessional.”

The Nelsons want her terminated. They plan to take the video to the Hancock County Sheriff’s office to pursue criminal charges.

Ian has been moved to a different kindergarten class here at the school and seems to be happier, but his parents worry this incident will have a long-term impact on him.

“He’s scared of her. Even going to the school next year or the year after, he will still have to see her if she is present in the building. That’s probably going to scare him.” Said his mother, Autumn Nelson.

Attempts to reach the superintendent by email have not been successful. His letter to the teacher warned Williams that she’ll be fired if there is any future misconduct.


  • Susan

    If it happens again? Do what? Maybe next time she will make sure no one sees, maybe next time a child will get more than a bruise. Why does she get a next time? Maybe next time??

  • Stargazer

    Sorry, but this was assault, plain and simple. The word “bully” gets thrown around a lot these days, but, this time, the shoe definetly fits. This woman should be fired, and jailed for a while-maybe some resident of the GP named Marge might teach her what it’s like to be picked on by someone ten times her size! And please, Ohio-use common sense and never employ this woman in your school system again. She’s a danger to the kids. Imagine what she’d do if some kid actually did something wrong?

  • charles cash

    This is a insult to all good teachers out there this woman needs to be fired and thrown in jail. The school has no right to keep her staffed.

  • lorraine kent

    Can anyone say child abuse, battery and termination of this idiots employment as a teacher ANYWHERE!?!?

  • scout12

    This teacher needs to be FIRED!! If I found out a teacher ever put a hand on my kids it would be the worst day that teacher ever had! This is horrible no matter what the kid did she has no right to put her hands on him or any other kid!

  • Nunya

    Yes this is unacceptable, but where is the same outrage when parents curse out teachers for trying to warn them that their children our misbehaving? Where is the outrage when teachers are assaulted by students? Where is the outrage when teachers struggle with their livelihood for raising other people’s children but not having time to raise their own. The whole system is screwed. She shouldn’t have let this situation get her this far, and yes, this will probably cost her her job. However, there are many things that should be placed under the microscope in the education system and the mental stress it’s causing teachers.

  • Amber

    At this time both in school and out of school our kids are taught to speak up when something like this happens. We tell them that we will protect them, all they have to do is tell us the truth. However this school doesn’t seem to want to protect the child as much as they are protecting the teacher. I can’t help but wonder why they would allow her to keep working there after this. I find it not only unfair but scary that a grown woman whom is suppose to teach little children is being disciplined like a child for actions that in the “real world” she could be jailed for. So I say not only is it shame on the teach but shame on the school as well. Maybe they need to be investigated to make sure they are a safe place for kids to go.

  • Todd Bastian

    These are my observations of what’s going on they are not the views or do they reflect the teaching style of my wife in anyway also some people who commented say that the child didn’t do anything wrong all it doesn’t say what the child did at all other than that the child went to the bathroom the child could have hurt another student before walking out going to the bathroom the teacher could’ve been acting out of fear because the child sneaked out of the room and she didn’t notice it rather than out of anger

  • Allison

    She needs to be fired. There is nothing that boy could’ve done to warrant such treatment. We talk about bullies all the time in schools, in this case the teacher is the bully!

  • ABC

    20 years later, if the teacher is still alive, the boy will come after her and do the same to her.

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