WARSAW — A Warsaw Community Schools teacher was recently arrested after video surveillance showed her using physical force against an 8-year-old child.
Debra Jeanne Wiley, 58, 2901 Glad St., Warsaw, is charged with battery on a person less than 14 years old, a level 6 felony.
On Sept. 18, Warsaw Police went to Harrison Elementary School to meet with the elementary school’s principal, as well as the school corporation’s human resources director and assistant superintendent. According to court documents, the group told officers they wanted to report an incident that occurred earlier that day between a teacher, identified as Wiley, and a student.
The incident in question had been reported by several teachers and was immediately investigated.
The school principal told officers the incident was captured on video and presented the video to officers.
Wiley has been employed as a second-grade teacher.
The video shows an eight-minute incident occurring in a hallway outside of Wiley’s classroom which started with Wiley appearing to tell a child to sit down, as the child stands with their back against a wall. Wiley then grabbed the child’s ankles, causing the child to fall onto their bottom. Several times during the video, Wiley is seen aggressively grabbing the child’s ankles, pulling the child’s feet out from under them and causing the child to fall onto their bottom.
At one point during the incident, Wiley grabbed the child by one ankle and dragged the child approximately seven feet across a carpeted hallway to a position outside of Wiley’s room. Several times, Wiley used her hands and the weight of her body to pin the child to the ground, while attempting to force the child into the position that Wiley wanted the child to remain in.
During the incident, Wiley also forcefully grabbed and twisted the child’s legs. In the video, Wiley appeared upset with the child and the child appeared uncomfortable with the force used by Wiley.
While being interviewed, Wiley admitted to grabbing the child’s legs and pulling them out from under the child to try to get the child to sit.
Wiley was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Sept. 18, with a $5,250 surety and cash bond. A no-contact order has also been established between Wiley and the child.
Warsaw Community Schools issued the following statement regarding the incident.
According to the statement, Wiley was immediately suspended following the incident and the school corporation is in the process of terminating her employment.
“Warsaw Community Schools expects its educators to conduct themselves in a professional, proper and safe manner, especially in regards to our students, even in these trying times of the state’s declared public health emergency.
The district did not name Wiley specifically but confirmed a teacher physically disciplined a student.
“The teacher’s actions violated school board policy. Upon learning of the teacher’s conduct, administrators immediately suspended her and, as required, contacted local law enforcement authorities. Warsaw Community Schools has taken swift action to begin the statutory process to terminate the teacher’s employment,” the statement said.
“The school administration is cooperating fully with the law enforcement’s investigation into this allegation and will continue to do so. To avoid adversely affecting the investigation as well as the employment termination process, Warsaw Community Schools plans no further comment on this matter.”
“Our students’ safety and welfare are top priority,” the statement said.