Teacher allegedly assaulted student
November 21, 2008
A Carson City teacher denied any wrongdoing Thursday after he was put on administrative leave while the school district and police investigate an allegation that he struck a student with a book.
Empire Elementary School teacher Dan Porath said he did not “hit” the student but tapped the 9-year-old girl on her head to get her attention in class on Tuesday.
The girl’s parents reported Wednesday that Porath “struck” their daughter on the back of the head with a book causing the child’s “bottom teeth to bite into her lower lip,” according to the police report.
The child’s and parents’ names are being withheld to protect the student’s identity.
The school was made aware of the allegation by the girl’s parents Tuesday, said her father.
“Our daughter told us, we told the school and then we pressed charges (Wednesday),” he said. “We have no comment until the school is done its investigation.”
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Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Davis confirmed the incident is under investigation.
He said his report will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office once completed.
School Superintendent Richard Stokes said Thursday that Porath was placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
“I’m sure you can appreciate the situation, we are wanting to investigate the events that have been reported and we need to make sure that we are carefully considering the rights of all the people involved,” he said.
Stokes said the decision to place Porath on leave was made “as soon as we learned of the situation.”
Contacted at his home Thursday, Porath, a teacher at Empire for 18 years, said he was surprised by the allegation. He said he didn’t know the girl cut her lip and he did not see anyone get hurt in his classroom.
“I don’t know how she cut her lip,” he said. “I tapped her a little bit to get her attention.”
– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.