[UPDATE] Gadsden Co. School Instructor Charged with Hitting Student

By: La'Tasha Givens Email
By: La'Tasha Givens Email

Updated By: La'Tasha Givens 2-23 6: 00 P.M.

"I am looking forward to going back to work to be with the children in my classroom," says
Burnell White. She was suspend for several weeks from Stewart Street Elementary when a student accused her of hitting him on the head with a clip board causing a loose tooth to fall out.

The boy's mother showed WCTV medical documents describing how a head contusion was found when the child was examined.

The State Attorney's office dropped the battery charge because it could not find sufficient evidence to pursue the case.

"I don't feel like she was treated fairly. I think that it was a jump to conclusion, there wasn't a full investigation," says Barbara Hobbs, White's attorney.

Gadsden County Superintendent Reginald James says, "We're in the children business. Our job is to protect the child. That's what we do and so we certainly had to follow proper protocols and go ahead and suspend Ms White until the investigation was complete. Now that it is completed she can return to work."

"I don't' believe that it was something that needed to be happen. I know what happened and that didn't happen. But I understand protocol and that it had to happen to me," says White.

I reached out the boy's family but have not heard back from them yet.

The school district says White has not had any other complaints from students or parents before or after this accusation.
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[UPDATE] 2-23 Noon --

New Developments in the case of a Gadsden County teacher charged with battery. She was accused of hitting a student in the head with a clipboard, causing a loose tooth to fall out.

Eyewitness News was live outside the Stewart Street Elementary School where Burnell White works. The charge of battery has been dropped because the State Attorney's office says it could not find sufficient evidence to pursue the battery charge. She was suspended for several weeks during the investigation, but has returned to work today.

We reached out to the family, but have not heard back from them yet. We also got a chance to speak with Miss White and her attorney. During the conversation, White says she feels vindicated that the charges have been dropped and is very happy to return to work today because teaching is what she loves.

We'll have more from that interview tonight on Eyewitness News.
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"He had some scratches under his neck." Angela Phillips says almost two months ago her son came home and told her his instructor Burnell White at Stewart Street Elementary hit him.

"His teeth came out because she hit him on the head with a clip board," says Phillips.

The medical discharge paperwork from the hospital shows the eight year old had a scalp contusion and other injuries but doesn't list a likely cause.

"She should go to jail for what she did. I mean if I would had done it, they would put me in jail. Just because she is an educated teacher and behavior specialist, doesn't make her more right. She's wrong."

In the police report, Gadsden County deputies say White denies all of the allegations. Officials with the Gadsden County School Board say this is an isolated incident and is being handled according to protocol.

"Our primary interest is the student. So if the employee is found to be guilty, the employee will certainly be terminated," says Superintendent Reginald James.

White is charged with battery and a warrant has been issued for her arrest. School officials say she has been suspended with pay.


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