Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Accused teacher won't return to class

Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — A veteran Middletown educator accused of striking an 8-year-old boy last month will work on special projects until his March 1 retirement.

        The Middletown/Monroe Board of Education on Monday accepted the resignation of Lawrence Aldridge, a third-grade teacher at McKinley Elementary School.

        Mr. Aldridge said he voluntarily agreed to the transfer and had planned on retiring once he completed 35 years in education.

        Before coming to Middletown, Mr. Aldridge was a teacher in the Hamilton schools for five years.

        ""I'm not bitter or anything,” Mr. Aldridge said Tuesday. ""I'm doing some worthwhile projects for the schools. It's working out real well.”

        Mr. Aldridge, who has been a Middletown teacher for 30 years, was put on paid leave Oct. 8 after a parent complained to school officials. The complaint was forwarded to Butler County Children Services, which in turn contacted Middletown police. Earlier this month, both agencies cleared Mr. Aldridge of any criminal wrongdoing.

        According to police, Mr. Aldridge was accused of hitting the boy on the head because he was talking to another child.

        Mr. Aldridge denied the accusation and the child's parents declined to press charges, police said.

        After reviewing the police and Children Services reports and talking with Mr. Aldridge, the decision was made to transfer him from the classroom to the district's central offices, Superintendent Wayne Driscoll said.


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