A Brooklyn substitute teacher was charged with assault after biting the hand of one her 5-year-old students. Now, the attorney representing the teacher says she only bit the student because the child bit her first.
On Friday, Shavonne Johnson, 37, was charged with assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child, reported the New York Daily News.
Johnson was arrested when a safety officer at Public School 66 noticed some redness and swelling on the kindergartner’s hand.
The Department of Education found Johnson’s actions completely inappropriate.
“There is no place for this alleged behavior in our schools, and Ms. Johnson was immediately terminated,” Douglas Cohen, a DOE spokesman, told the Daily News.
Although her behavior resulted in an arrest, Johnson’s attorney, Andrew Stoll, said the teacher only acted out because the child wouldn’t stop biting her in class.
“Does she need to wait for him to bite off a piece of flesh before she does what she needs to do?” Stoll asked on Saturday at the Brooklyn Criminal Court.
Stoll went on to explain that the child involved is “known as a biter,” and he believes the school system should have done more to work for Johnson, according to the New York Daily News.
“The system should get behind its teachers,” Stoll said. “They should really give their teachers the benefit of the doubt.”
Johnson offered no comment when she her arraignment.
Johnson has been a substitute teacher with the Department of Education since 2016.
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