Tennessee teacher suspended for telling third grader to punch second grader in the face

The alleged incident involved Watt Hardison Elementary School teacher Rebecca Cassel.
By Evan Bleier   |   May 8, 2014 at 2:20 PM   |   Comments

PORTLAND, Tenn., May 8 (UPI) -- An elementary school teacher in Tennessee has been suspended for allegedly telling a third grader to punch a second grader in the face twice.

The alleged incident, which happened at Watt Hardison Elementary School in Portland, happened after two boys got in a fight on the school bus on the way home from school.

"The little boy (third grader) had pushed him and hit his brother and cousin. So he hit him back," Brandie Dobson, the second grader's mother, told NewsChannel 5.

The boy's teacher, Rebecca Cassel, found out about the incident the following day and allegedly took the boys into a deserted classroom to finish the fight, while bringing another teacher along to serve as a witness.

"She had told, told the little boy to hit my son. My understanding, he hit him. She didn't feel like it was good enough, so she had him hit him again in the face," Dobson said.

Dobson only found out about the incident after children told her.

"He had to go back to his class, bawling, crying, red-faced and humiliated," Dobson told News 2. "There's two teachers in the classroom. Someone could have notified me or the other teacher could have stopped it."

Police have investigated the incident and Cassel will not face criminal charges.

Sumner County Schools released the following statement about the matter:

"The teacher has been suspended as Sumner County Schools conducts an investigation into these allegations. We intend to thoroughly investigate this matter to fully determine if this incident occurred and the circumstances surrounding it. If these allegations are indeed proven true by our investigation, our Director of Schools will take appropriate corrective action, as we will not tolerate this type of conduct within our school system."

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