Lanier: Only 1 teacher arrested for abuse
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier has filled in more of the holes left by Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee in the wake of her statement to "Fast Company" magazine about the behavior of some of the 266 teachers she laid off last October.
Rhee said she "got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children," but touched off a furor when she took four days to specify that just one had been suspended for sexual misconduct and six (later amended to five) had faced disciplinary action for administering corporal punishment to students. The Post reported on Feb. 9 that school security personnel had logged 220 allegations of corporal punishment and verbal abuse during the 2008-2009 school year.
But a relatively small number of allegations were deemed substantial enough for police investigation. Pressed by D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray for more details, Rhee reported last month that the school system had referred 68 incidents to the police between July 2007 and Feb. 5.
Lanier told WTOP's Mark Segraves Thursday that arrest warrants were issued for four teachers in connection with incidents during this period, but that only one has been arrested. Lanier did not say what happened to the case in the court system. She said that police sent another "12 or 13" cases to the U.S. Attorney's office, which decided that they were not legally sufficient for prosecution.
"A lot of times in cases like this, it's one person's word against the other. We do the best we can to investigate or sustain one side or the other," she said. "But the attorneys have to make the decision whether they can prosecute that case. Just because a warrant was submitted and declined, it doesn't give you any real conclusions."
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