Prosecutor: Teacher won’t be charged with child abuse |

Prosecutor: Teacher won’t be charged with child abuse

by AP Wire

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A substitute teacher arrested after a physical confrontation with an eighth-grader at Traner Middle School will not be charged with child abuse, prosecutors said.

But Washoe County Assistant District Attorney John Helzer said Jeff Spence, 52, could still face lesser charges in the case.

That decision should be made in the next few days after Helzer gets additional information from school police.

Helzer also said Traner Principal Debbie Feemster won’t be charged with failure to report child abuse. There was insufficient evidence in the school police report to support the charge, he said.

”I do not believe what I have been provided shows that this case rose to the level of what is considered child abuse,” Helzer said.

Spence was arrested Jan. 28, four days after a boy walked out of his science class, swearing at Spence as the teacher followed him.

The boy claims Spence then grabbed him by his coat and threw him up against the wall.

Helzer said the law requires teachers, principals and others who work with children to make a report no later than 24 hours after abuse cases occur.

”The bottom line is I feel the school police department acted irresponsibly,” Feemster said. ”They never asked me for a statement of what actions I took.”