Felony cruelty charges for Va. teacher
A veteran Fairfax County special education teacher at Centreville-area Deer Park Elementary has been charged with felony cruelty to children for allegedly mistreating two boys with autism who were in her classroom, according to county police and a spokesman for the school system.
Jennah Christine Billeter, 33, of the 11800 block of Federalist Way in Fairfax, turned herself in Sunday at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
Police were contacted by Child Protective Services regarding the matter in early July. Their investigation determined that the alleged abuse had been taking place since May.
Police, the schools and Principal Carol A. Larsen declined to discuss specific details about the incidents leading to the charges, include when they took place and what they entailed.
Larsen said in a Monday letter to Deer Park parents that a school staffer first reported concerns to her that one child was being mistreated. Larsen reported the matter to Child Protective Services, the principal said.
Neither police nor the school system would discuss specifics of the allegations against Billeter. However, police said that Billeter was also charged with a misdemeanor simple assault charge for physically assaulting one of the boys, who were aged 4 and 5.
Neither child required medical treatment as a result of Billeter's alleged actions, police said.
Billeter is on unpaid administrative leave, schools spokesman Paul Regnier said Monday.
Billeter has taught at county schools since 2002 beginning as a substitute teacher, Regnier said, before becoming a special education teacher in 2003 at Clifton Elementary. She then taught special education at Bull Run Elementary in 2004 and then, in 2007, became a special education teacher at Deer Park.
-- Mary Pat Flaherty
Mary Pat Flaherty
August 2, 2010; 3:22 PM ET
Categories: Fairfax , Mary Pat Flaherty , Schools , Virginia
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