Four Teachers Charged After Rhee's Abuse Comments

By Matthew Stabley
|  Friday, Mar 5, 2010  |  Updated 2:58 AM EDT
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Four Teachers Charged After Rhee's Abuse Comments

NBCWashington.com

Michelle Rhee

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Warrants were issued for four teachers as a result of school abuse allegations, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told WTOP Thursday.

Police investigated after D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee told a magazine that some of the teachers fired in the fall had hit children and had sex with children.

According to a log kept by Hawk One, a security contractor for D.C. schools, there were more than 200 incidents -- from corporal punishment to verbal abuse -- during the 2008-2009 school year. Lanier downplayed the log.

"They kept a log, essentially, of any time someone said, 'Hey, he pushed me.' So it was a log of incidents that were reported to them. Not all of those were criminal cases. Not all of those cases were even sustained incidents," Lanier said Thursday on WTOP's Ask The Chief program.

Only one of the four teachers has been arrested.

Lanier said 69 cases were referred to the Metropolitan Police Department but some were not criminal. Other warrants were applied for but declined, Lanier said.

Twelve or 13 cases were referred to the U.S. Attorney's offices but charges weren't pursued, Lanier said.

"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. 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."

Rhee has said five of the fired teachers had been suspended for corporal punishment and a special needs student accused another teacher of fathering her child. Police and prosecutors told school officials that because of the special needs student's age, the allegation did not warrant criminal investigation, the Washington Post reported.

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