ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Montgomery County elementary school teacher has been acquitted on charges that she choked and scratched some of her students.

The jury returned the verdict Friday afternoon, finding Susan Burke not guilty of all charges.

Several students testified that Burke had hurt them when she was angry, but Burke denied on the witness stand that she ever choked the children.

She and her attorney said she used physical contact to break up fights among students or to redirect them if they were misbehaving.

Burke was a teacher at Greencastle Elementary School in Silver Spring. She was accused of assault during the 2010-2011 school year and was arrested last February. She was placed on administrative leave.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments (2)
  1. Larry 26 says:

    The teacher has been acquitted in court and her name cleared. It won’t make a bit of difference. If the school board retains her, there will always be a doubt there and, she will be walking on egg shells for as long as she teaches. Is this another case of students not liking the teacher and spreading lies because someone tried to make them behave and not injure themselves. Society has taught the children now that they don’t have to listen to anyone in authority. No one can hurt them, thus, they feel free to say anything that they want and they think that it’s alright to injure the teacher and they aren’t even supposed to defend themselves. When the kids are passed on due to no child left behind, whether they know what they were supposed to learn or not and then go out into the world, they believe everything should just be handed to them on a silver platter. Then when they are held accountable for the first time, they can’t cope. Mom and Dad are supposed to support them for the rest of their lives and work, what is work. I feel sorry for them.

    1. A Teacher says:

      I was actually thinking the exact same thing. Whether she actually did it or not, her career is over. Even if she was acquitted, few parents would want their children taught by her because she might have been guilty.

      I am a teacher and I’m not going to lie that one of my biggest fears is coming across a fight in the hallways. If I try to break it up, some parent could come at me for touching their child. If I don’t, I’m negligent for not preventing the children getting hurt. If you think I’m lying, let me tell you a story that happened to my husband who is also a teacher. An unruly student tried to jump out of a window at his school and he grabbed him to pull him back from hurting himself. In the process, he accidentally scratched the kid. Instead of being grateful that my husband prevented her son from hurting himself, the mother tried to draw attention to the fact that my husband scratched her son. She was doing it to try and force the school not to pursue disciplinary action against her son for his behavior. Luckily the principal happened to witness the event and so nothing happened against my husband but that goes to show you how far some parents will go to make excuses for their kids.

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