Teacher videotaped dragging student down hallway facing possible - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Teacher videotaped dragging student down hallway facing possible assault charge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Bullitt County teacher who was fired, then reinstated, after dragging a first grade student 160 feet through the hall at Brooks Elementary could soon be charged with assault. 

Ashley Silas was fired in November, but reinstated by a 3-member tribunal in December. 

In a video of the Oct. 29 incident first obtained by WDRB News on Monday, Silas is seen walking the 6-year-old student until he collapses on the floor. Silas then drags the student by the arm to the front office while using her other hand to gaze at her smartphone.

On Tuesday, a county attorney recommended Silas be charged with fourth degree assault. A judge will determine whether to proceed with the case in the next day or two.

Bullitt County Attorney John Wooldridge says the line between inappropriate and illegal was crossed by a single mark on the child's body.

"If the process works as anticipated, the teacher will face charges," Wooldridge said.

"Bruising on the wrist is the physical injury that would substantiate the complaint being taken," he added.

The school district's investigators found the first grader was not injured. Bullitt County Schools fired Silas and later reinstated her at the order of a state appeal panel. She's no longer at Brooks, but is now a full time substitute for the district.

Parents reactions are mixed.

"If my child acted like that, I wouldn't want her dragging him," said one parent, who asked to to remain anonymous.

"I think she should have carried him instead of dragging him," said Wilbur McCauley, another parent.

"I feel there was nothing wrong with it because I think there should be more discipline in the schools," said another parent who wanted to remain anonymous.

Former substitute Sylvia Todd said, "The dragging is a little bit far-fetched. I would have left the child where he was and gone and got assistance."

All Bullitt County teachers receive some training on how to deal with disruptive students, including a 40-minute video and a quiz -- but the review board found that training inadequate.

State law is clear: physical restraint is for students who pose a danger to themselves or others.

Timothy Landrum chairs the Department of Special Education at the University of Louisville.

"If there's simple refusal and no harm to the child or others, I don't want to do anything that's going to escalate or make that situation worse," Landrum said.

"The basic idea for a teacher would be remain positive, calm, figure out the behavior is that we want to see and do things that can prompt or promote that behavior," he added.

The video suggests what should have happened and what did are very different stories.

The Bullitt County Attorney recommends a fourth degree assault charge for Silas. It's a low level misdemeanor that typically comes with no jail time.

The case will move forward if a judge signs off on the charge.

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