Judy Bingham, 48, a Tritt Elementary School kindergarten teacher, was arrested Thursday and charged with cruelty to children, a first-degree felony, and simple battery, a misdemeanor, stemming from an incident Aug. 15.
In a letter written to Tritt Elementary parents Thursday, Principal Tricia Patterson said parents of the students in Bingham’s class “have been contacted individually and informed that the teacher will not be returning to Tritt.”
According to the school district, the student’s father learned about the incident from a neighbor.
The neighbor said his fourth-grade son witnessed the teacher dragging the kindergartener down the hallway to the front office.
Jay Dillon, school district spokesman, said Patterson learned about the incident Sunday, andthe ensuing investigation led to Bingham’s arrest.
An incident report from the Cobb School District’s Department of Public Safety said the class’ paraprofessional, Indie Smith, told authorities the student had not been listening or following directions in class Aug. 15.
When he continued to act out, the report said, Bingham grabbed him by the ankle, causing the child to fall back and hit his head on the floor as she dragged him to the bookshelves.
According to the report, Smith said Bingham told the student “she would drag him by the leg or arm, he could choose.” When the child didn’t respond, the report said, Bingham dragged him out of the classroom by his ankle and down the hallway to the front office.
“Ms. Smith said Ms. Bingham gave her the impression that school administration was aware of the manner in which she had taken” the child to the office, the report said.
When questioned, Bingham said the child “had walked to the bookshelves on his own” and she “scooped him up” rather than dragging him by his ankle, according to the report.
“At that point, Ms. Bingham said she wasn’t comfortable talking about the matter,” the report said.
The school district declined to comment further on the alleged incident.
Bingham was released from the Cobb jail Thursday on $5,000 bond.