AP NEWS

Child abuse charge dropped against Missouri teacher

January 7, 2020 GMT

MARIONVILLE, Mo. (AP) — Criminal charges have been dismissed against a southwest Missouri teacher who was accused of hurting a 4-year-old boy on a playground.

Attorney Stacie Bilyeu says Marionville teacher Kimberly Daniels, is “feeling vindicated” after charges of child abuse and hindering prosecution were dropped following a preliminary hearing Monday, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

Daniels has been on paid administrative leave following a June 6 incident in which she took the 4-year-old by the arm and led him away from a kickball game. The boy’s father noticed bruises on the child’s arm that night that he said appeared to have been caused by someone’s hand grabbing his son.

Prosecutors had alleged Daniels’ behavior was abusive and that she injured the boy. Bilyeu argued that Daniels was following her training and fulfilling her duties to take the defiant child away from a situation where he could have harmed himself or others.

An investigator with the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division said it’s not uncommon for children to suffer bruises when they are being escorted by adults out of a potentially dangerous situation.