A 53-year-old teacher at Blaine Primary School allegedly kicked a 7-year-old student in the upper leg after he reportedly struck her while acting out in school last week.
The Blaine Police Department booked Catherine G. Hicks into Whatcom County Jail on Jan. 24 on suspicion of fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor. According to jail records, she was released on the same day of the arrest.
Hicks has been placed on administrative leave while the Blaine School District completes an investigation, district superintendent Dr. Ronald C. Spanjer told The Bellingham Herald in an interview Thursday.
According to information provided by Sgt. Michael Munden in an email Thursday to The Bellingham Herald, officers responded Jan. 24 to Blaine Primary after school officials reported the incident from earlier in the day. The boy, who reportedly was known to have some behavioral issues and whom school officials told police has learning disabilities, came into the classroom using vulgar language.
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Hicks verbally attempted to correct the boy’s behavior, but the boy became irate and fell to the ground kicking and screaming, and in the process struck Hicks somewhere on the lower leg, according to Munden’s email. A witness reportedly told police Hicks then kicked the boys’ upper leg with some force, before she left the classroom, telling other teachers she needed to go for a walk.
The boy was uninjured in the incident, Munden said.
Details of the district’s personnel level investigation will remain confidential until it is completed, Dr. Spanjer told The Herald, adding that the parameters and scope of the investigation are just now being set and that the district does not yet have an estimated date the it will be completed.