MOUNT BLANCHARD, Ohio — The attorney for a Forest, Ohio couple has confirmed that they went to the Hancock County Sheriff's Office with allegations against embattled kindergarten teacher Barb Williams.
April and Bryce Blanton filed a report on Saturday with the sheriff's department claiming their 8-year-old son was physically abused in Riverdale Elementary School by Ms. Williams during the 2011-2012 school year, said Dan Margolis, a Cleveland attorney.
Ms. Williams, who has been a teacher in the district for 15 years, was seen pushing around 6-year-old Ian Nelson on May 7 in a footage taken by a school surveilance camera. The video, which showed her confronting the student, pushing him against a wall, and then lifting him up by his T-shirt and face, gained national attention.
The district suspended her from the teaching for 10 days beginning May 14 and she was not allowed to return to the classroom for the rest of the year. She was charged in Findlay Municipal Court on June 2 with misdemeanor child endangerment.
Mr. Margolis, who also was hired by the Nelson family, said the Blanton child was an eager student in his pre-school class, but his parents noticed a stark change in behavior after he began kindergarten.
"All of the sudden he goes to Williams' class and he dislikes school," he said.
After seeing the video and media attention on the incident involving the Nelson boy, the Blantons took their son to a pediatric neurtologist to whom the boy disclosed that he had been physically abused, the attorney said.
The Hancock County Sheriff's records department was not staffed Monday night to confirm that a report against the Riverdale Schools teacher had been filed.
Mr. Margolis said the Blantons gave deputies a photograph of Ms. Williams with text telling the child that there are times when he is not to talk out loud. The image shows the teacher with her finger to her closed lips, a common signal used by teachers to quiet children.
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