Thursday, February 15, 2001

Teacher accused of assault resigns

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        HAMILTON — A teacher accused of assaulting a fourth-grade boy at Jefferson Elementary School has resigned.

        The Hamilton school board accepted the resignation of music teacher Cathryn Beck this week and approved an agreement that will keep her away from students the remainder of the school year. Under the agreement, Ms. Beck has been assigned to complete her one-year contract working on curriculum development for the district's fine arts department, Assistant Superintendent Gene Hutzelman said. Her salary will remain at $33,136.

        After consulting with their attorney, board members decided not to terminate Ms. Beck's contract, school board President Larry Bowling said.

        “We are not in the position to pay her not to work,” he said. “Going this route makes sense. It protects the children and gives us value for the money spent.”

        Ms. Beck served a three-day unpaid suspension this month after being accused of striking a 10-year-old boy on his arm with her hand, leaving a mark. The boy's parents and the parents of a 9-year-old boy filed complaints with police in connection with the Jan. 29 incident. Charges were not filed against Ms. Beck.

        Last month's incident was the third time Jefferson Principal Mary Jacobs had disciplined Ms. Beck since her August start with the Hamilton schools. In October she received a written reprimand after being accused of striking a student on the leg for disruptive behavior. The next month, Ms. Beck received a second written reprimand for allegedly using profanity.

        Ms. Beck could not be reached for comment.


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