SMITHFIELD – A second school employee at South Smithfield Elementary School is under police investigation for allegedly assaulting a student. The incident was reported May 13th to Smithfield Police.
Police confirmed they are investigating allegations a substitute teacher physically struck a child while in a classroom at the school on May 13. The incident was reported to police by Principal Susan Jones.
On May 10, The Johnston County Report published a story about the alleged assault of a 4 year-old student multiple times by the same teacher at the same school. The incident was witnessed by a South Smithfield Elementary school employee December 17, 2021 and reported to administrators that same day. It took 56 days before the assault was reported to police. School officials then withheld information and refused to cooperate with the police investigation. The teacher resigned but was later charged by police with assault.
In the May 13 incident, the assault was reported within 4 hours. Police said the substitute teacher is accused of slapping an elementary student in the arm. At last check, no charges had been filed.
Johnston County Public Schools released a statement to The Johnston County Report. The statement read, “Johnston County Public Schools takes any allegations of staff misconduct seriously. Although we cannot discuss the specifics of an investigation into alleged staff misconduct, we can confirm that whenever such allegations arise, our administration responds swiftly, by investigating the allegations and, sometimes, by removing staff from classrooms pending completion of a thorough review. Beyond that, the school system is not at liberty to provide additional information.”