Teacher suspended for striking student

Published 1:28 pm Friday, October 21, 2016

A Thorsby High School history teacher has been suspended 20 days without pay for allegedly striking a student.

Chris Baker was suspended by the Chilton County Board of Education at its meeting Oct. 18 at the recommendation of Superintendent of Education Tommy Glasscock.

The incident that led to the suspension occurred in April in Baker’s classroom, Glasscock said.

No initial report was made, but the 11th grade student’s father eventually learned of the incident and contacted law enforcement, prompting an investigation by the school system.

The investigation determined that the student was sitting on Baker’s desk and was told to move. When he did not comply, Baker struck the student multiple times on the arm with a crutch that was nearby with increasing forcefulness, Glasscock said.

“It just kind of escalated from there,” Glasscock said of the initial physical contact.

The student did not require medical treatment, according to the superintendent.

Baker has been on administrative leave for over a month, Glasscock said, pending the result of the investigation.

Once the 20-day suspension ends, Baker would be allowed to return to his position.

Two attorneys representing the teacher attended the Oct. 18 board meeting as part of an appeal of the suspension.

Baker’s representation requested an executive session to discuss the matter because information they revealed could have led to the identification of the student.

After about 15 minutes of meeting behind closed doors, the board reconvened in a regular session and unanimously approved Glasscock’s recommended suspension.