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Police charge teacher with breaking student's arm


FAYETTEVILLE, NC (AP) -- A Fayetteville teacher is accused of breaking a five-year-old student's arm while trying to apply what's called a therapeutic hold. Cumberland County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna says Jackie Bennett faces assault and child abuse charges. The 57-year-old teaches students with disabilities at J.W. Coon Elementary School in Fayetteville.

Bennett told police he was trying to apply a therapeutic hold meant to stop a child from injuring themselves or others.

Cumberland County schools spokeswoman Theresa Perry says Bennett has been suspended with pay pending an investigation.

Bennett is free on a $25,000 bond. He was scheduled to appear in Cumberland County court on Thursday. It could not be immediately determined if he has a lawyer.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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I have worked with children

I have worked with children with disabilities and know that " theraputic hold" is a nice way of saying. Pinning down a child or adult that is aggressive to the point they are a harm to themselves or others, it could mean laying atop the child. This is a taught practice meant to prevent that person from harming themselves or others. We dont know the whole story yet.. I would say dont read this and say omg a 5 year old with a teacher breaking an arm. Children with disabilities are just that .. sick with possible brittle bones who could possibly have a mental disorder or condition. That child could have been trying to harm or kill someone else in that case a broken arm is not so bad. If a child with a mental illness gets angry and out of control and has feelings perhaps they could " kill someone" because they are so upset, that child perhaps cannot distinguish they cant actually do it. I have seen times 3 or 4 staff members being unable to picc or theraputically hold a child that has gotten to that no return point, but as I said we dont know the whole story. The teacher could have genuinely been helping that child or preventing the child from hurting itself or others.

One size education does not fit all

These children do not belong in the same classrooms with children who do not have disabilities, I have worked in many classrooms in different schools here in Fayetteville and they all had the same outcome, at some point during class the noise level is unbearable, you cannot get them to listen to instructions,let alone able to even call roll. One group was playing pata cake (2 girls and 2 boys), 2 boys were slapping the skin off one another's arms in what was suppose to be a game. A mist flying paper planes, spitballs,throwing broken pencils at each other, two girls continued to talk about their lesbian relationship even after I sat next to them( I figured they would stop talking). In the corner in the back I heard a boy and girl conversing about drugs(as I now walked around the classroom). Only a few somber looking students who were trying to finish their assignment among the insanity, even noticed that I was there. This was just the 8th graders. the 5th and 6th graders were worse. there were 32 children in the classroom more than half were LD. (learning disabled) in a normal classroom setting