Marionville teacher Daniels accused of abuse, hindering prosecution

By: 
Steve Chapman

Missouri Children’s Division found abuse claims unsubstantiated; witness accounts inconsistent

A Marionville teacher is currently out of the classroom after being charged with abusing a student at Marionville Elementary School and lying about it to the deputy sheriff investigating the case. Kimberly Daniels, a fifth-grade teacher at Marionville Elementary, is currently out on an $8,000 surety bond after being charged on Friday, Sept. 27.
According to the probable cause statement filed in the case, the investigator said she attempted to speak to the boy, but he refused to “disclose during his forensic interview.” She also spoke to three other children who were present during the incident.
The investigator stated all three children said that as Daniels came over to split up children on the playground into kickball teams, the boy was crying and wanted to stay with his sister instead of going into the outfield like Daniels told him to. All three also said Daniels grabbed the boy more than once in the upper-arm area, but their statements varied as to how.
One child said Daniels grabbed the boy by the upper arm and “his feet were dragging on the ground and he was pulling back to his sister.” Another child said Daniels was “pulling and grabbing” the boy’s upper arm and pulling him to the fence and his feet were off the ground. Other reports from the students included Daniels grabbing the boy’s upper arm and his feet were bouncing off the ground, Daniels throwing the boy to the ground, and the boy was sitting on the ground and holding onto the fence while Daniels was pulling him. All three said a male teacher came over to separate Daniels and the boy.
Daniels gave a statement on June 7 to the investigator. Daniels said she went over to the children because a boy was hitting the other children and she asked him to stop and come to her. Daniels said he refused, so she used “handle with care” training and guided him away from the rest of the children. She said she was gentle with him the entire time, and told the boy he couldn’t hit other people. Daniels also said two other teachers came over to them and the boy was also ignoring them.
Daniels gave a second statement on July 19. This time, she told the investigator that 20 to 30 students were playing kickball and some boys were cutting in line, so she went over to send them to the back of the line. She said she overhead a child say, ‘Don’t hit me,’ and that she saw a young boy weaving between children to the front of the line.
Daniels said she told the boy to come to her, but he didn’t. She said she thought he didn’t hear her, so she went around the fence, knelt down and asked the boy, identified as the boy she is accused of leaving bruises on, to come and speak with her. Instead, he wrapped his arms around a girl Daniels didn’t know at the time, but was later identified as the boy’s sister.
Daniels said the boy turned his head and made “groaning noises” and ignored her. She stated 99-percent of the interaction with boy was verbal, but “he started going between (the girl’s) legs, spiraling down her legs.”
Daniels said she felt the girl was going to fall, so she picked the boy up. She said he was in a “fetal position,” when she picked him up, and said she cupped her arms under his armpits and carried him to the fence. She also said she tried to get him to put his feet on the ground, but he wouldn’t, so she carried him. She added that she couldn’t have left bruises on the boy’s upper arm because she was carrying him with her hands under his armpits and in front of her.
Other teachers on the playground were interviewed. One said that Daniels went over to the fence to split the teams up and said the boy was asked to go to the outfield but wouldn’t and started crying when Daniels asked him to go to the fence; she also said the boy was hanging onto his sister. The teacher also said that Daniels helped the boy to the fence, but when the investigator asked her how Daniels did this, she couldn’t remember if Daniels had her hand on his arm or hand.
Another teacher said Daniels pulled the boy to the side, but said she couldn’t remember how. Another said Daniels guided the boy to the fence, and another said the boy threw himself to the ground and Daniels guided him to the fence. The other teachers didn’t see what happened, but two teachers said they saw the boy crying, so they went over.
The investigator reported there is a video recording of the incident, but a minute of it is missing. The video, she said, shows Daniels up at the fence waving her arms from the kids towards the outfield and then she comes around the corner towards the opening in the fence. The video then cuts out for 61 seconds; when it comes back, the deputy reported, it shows the boy on the ground, and two other teachers are around him, while Daniels is by the group of students and then walks away.
Daniels was booked into the Lawrence County Jail on Friday, Sept. 27; she was released about a half-hour later after posting bond.
KY3 reported that Marionville Superintendent Chris Gold stated Daniels was on administrative leave after the incident in June, but she returned to teaching at the beginning of the school year because the Missouri Children’s Division found the claim unsubstantiated. It was also reported that Daniels is currently on paid administrative leave following the charges being filed against her.
Gold declined to make a statement for this article.

Category:

Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712
www.lawrencecountyrecord.com

Facebook

Please Login for Premium Content