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Teacher charged with assault after student cut

A Virginia family has accused their daughter's teacher of cutting the child's hand, and now the woman facesassault charges. The woman, who teaches elementary school in Chesapeake, Virginia, is accused of cutting the 10-year-old while teaching Islamic hand signs.

The case remains under investigation. A spokesman for the Chesapeake Police Department said this is a criminal charge because it occurred on school grounds and affected a student.

The girl's mother said the teacher spent parts of two days in class teaching Islamic hand signs during time that was allocated for reading and math lessons. She said the woman prays to Allah in front of students.

The girl's mother said her daughter has difficulty processing new information. When the child had trouble catching on to the hand signs, the teacher grabbed her hand, which they caught on the metal wire of a folder, the mother said. The child's hand then bled, her mother added. Another mother confirmed the mother's story and said her son had witnessed the girl's alleged injury. That parent also confirmed the woman praying to Allah in class.

The teacher reportedly has been fired from her job since the incident, but officials from the Chesapeake Public School system have yet to confirm that. It also has not been reported in mainstream local media, the parents lamented.

Assault cases often have no witnesses; in this case, there was a classroom filled with children who can tell authorities if they saw the incident or the aftermath, such as the blood on the girl's hand.

It is never right for a teacher to grab a student, but young children often do not have an accurate remembrance of events. Additionally, if the woman did indeed cut the child's hand, that might not qualify as an assault. A judge will have to consider all the facts closely before deciding whether to throw out this case or let it proceed through the court system.

Source:, "Girl's hand cut in 'Islamic hand sign' drill, teacher charged with assault," Joe Newby, Oct. 18, 2012

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

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