Substitute teacher arrested, released

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A substitute teacher at Mack Benn Jr. Elementary School accused of grabbing a 7-year-old student by the ear to move him around her classroom was arrested last week.

Tonisha Whitaker, 21, of the 100 block of Day Street, was charged with assault and battery on Feb. 11 after the child’s parents lodged a complaint, said Lt. Debbie George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department. Whitaker was released on her own recognizance.


Email newsletter signup

Efforts to reach her on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The school system is also investigating the complaint, said Bethanne Bradshaw, spokeswoman for Suffolk Public Schools.

&uot;Until there is some resolution to this, we will not use her as a substitute,&uot; said Bradshaw.

Before being accepted onto the school division’s substitute teaching list, Whitaker passed state and federal background checks, Bradshaw said. That background check policy is in effect for every employee within the school system, she added.