Three Kanawha County school employees charged with battery

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A teacher and two aides at Horace Mann Middle School in Kanawha County have been charged with battery after allegedly mistreating special needs students.

The charges, first reported by WCHS-TV, allege teacher Anthony Wilson, 45, of Beckley, and aides Walter Pannell, 51, of Charleston, and Lillian Branham, 65, of Beckley, were caught on classroom surveillance video.

According to reports, criminal complaints allege non-verbal students were grabbed, pushed and abused verbally.

The charges are misdemeanors.

Kanawha County Schools Communications Director Briana Warner issued the following statement when contacted by MetroNews Wednesday:

“The health and safety of our students is our top priority. We are aware of the situation and are following our policies and procedures on reporting, as well as working with law enforcement. We are not able to comment on any personnel matters.”

WCHS-TV also reported the school system is named as a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by the families of the two students

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