First-Grade Teacher Accused of Choking 9 Students - NBC4 Washington

First-Grade Teacher Accused of Choking 9 Students

Teacher arrested Tuesday



    Several Montgomery County first-graders are accusing their teacher of physically assaulting them on campus. (Published Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011)

    A first-grade teacher in Silver Spring, Md., was accused of choking nine students, NBC Washington's Pat Collins reported.

    Susan Lee Burke, 35, was arrested Tuesday morning at her home in the 9300 block of Decatur Place in Laurel. She's facing nine counts of second-degree assault that took place in December, police told Collins.

    Montgomery County police learned of one incident on Jan. 7, when a Greencastle Elementary School student complained of being physically assaulted on several occasions, Collins reported. Police interviewed all of the students in Burke's class, and their investigation revealed eight more victims, all ages 6 or 7, police said. In addition to being choked, some students also reported being kicked, punched, scratched or squeezed on the arms, police said. Additional students reported witnessing the attacks, police said.

    Burke also was charged in an alleged March 2010 assault of a student as a result of this investigation, police said.

    The alleged incidents took place on school property and during school hours, Collins reported.

    Montgomery County Public Schools learned of the allegations on Jan. 4, according to schools spokesman Dana Tofig. The school system learned of the arrest Tuesday and sent a letter to parents of Greencastle students Tuesday afternoon.

    "Counseling and support services are being made available to students and their families at the school," Tofig told NBC Washington in an e-mail statement Tuesday afternoon.

    Burke, who has been with the school system for about 10 years, has been on administrative leave from Greencastle since the first complaint, Collins reported.

    She was released on bond Tuesday night.

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