Maryland School Hires Teacher Accused of Assaulting Student in DC

The child said she grabbed her hair and hit her twice

A woman facing assault charges for allegedly hitting a student in Washington, D.C., has a new teaching job in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Lacey Thornton was arrested in Nov. 2017 after a fourth grade student said Thornton grabbed her by her hair and hit her twice with an open hand at Cleveland Elementary School in Northwest.

D.C. police reviewed security footage at the school, which showed the student kicking a classroom door.  Thornton could be seen coming out of the classroom, hitting the child in the back of her head, grabbing her by the neck and pushing her down a hallway, police said.

Thornton still faces one charge of simple assault.

New Hope Academy in Hyattsville has since hired Thornton and, according to a letter the private school sent to parents, she will work as a permanent substitute first grade teacher until the end of the school year.

In a letter to parents, the Principal S. Joy Morrow says in part, "...pray that this court situation can resolve itself as painlessly and favorably as possible for Ms. Thornton."

"I'm very upset because now I have to figure out what to do with my child for the last two months of school," one mother told News4. She did not want to be identified.

"I can't believe we are even entertaining this. I pay good money for my kids to go to a private school and I would think that the school would want to have some type of standard when it comes to who we allow around our children, especially since the case itself isn't closed, like, it's not finished," said another mother who also did not want to be identified.

In a statement released Friday, school officials said they've know Thornton for "many years," adding that she was forthcoming about the alleged assault. 

"We believe that Ms. Thornton took action to protect herself and her students at Cleveland Elementary when confronted with a very difficult situation," the statement read.

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