A substitute teacher is charged with simple battery after allegedly twisting the arms of two sixth-grade students at Gainesville Middle School last week.
Clindon Middleton, 29, of Gainesville was arrested Monday and booked in at the Hall County Jail. Middleton is no longer allowed to work in Gainesville schools following the alleged incident, which was reportedly captured on video by other students in the class.
“District and school officials conducted an investigation, communicated with families and reported the incidents to (the Division of Family and Children Services) and Gainesville Police Department,” the school district said in a statement to The Times. “The substitute teacher is no longer serving GCSS.”
Gainesville police officials said they were notified immediately of the alleged incident and continue to work closely with school officials.
Celisa Tabor told The Times her son, Treshun, was one of the students Middleton allegedly injured.
“(The teacher) pinned (my son’s) arm behind his back like a pretzel,” Tabor said. “If you want (to do that), you need to take up a martial arts class.”
Tabor said she feels a responsibility to ensure that Middleton doesn’t potentially harm other students “when I could have stepped up and prevented it.”
“He shouldn’t be around no kids, period,” she added.
Kala Chatman said her son, Fuchure, was the other student injured.
Chatman told The Times that she assumed the students were probably horse-playing or goofing off when the teacher tried to discipline them, but that it didn’t call for twisting arms.
“That’s not all right,” she added.
Chatman said she would forgive Middleton if it was certain he wouldn’t be teaching again in any school, anywhere.
“They’re putting kids in danger wherever he goes,” she said, adding that her daughter attends West Hall High School, which is in a different school district than Gainesville Middle.
Chatman said her son “was more shook up, scared” than injured.
The alleged incident marks the second time this year that a teacher at Gainesville Middle has been charged with simple battery.
A Hall County grand jury indicted 25-year-old Joshua Streetman after an April incident in the school’s hallway that was caught on video.
The indictment accuses Streetman of intentionally making “physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” against a 12-year-old student.
Tabor questioned whether school officials needed to do more to scrutinize teachers.
“How do they do background checks on these people?” she asked. “Where are they getting these people from that are putting their hands on kids?”