MARTINSURG, W.Va. — A staff member at Opequon Elementary School in Berkeley County has been charged with assault and battery of a disabled child.
Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Ron Stephens made the announcement Friday.
“Please recognize that as a school district, we cannot share the same types of details that a law enforcement agency or organization may be able to share,” Stephens said in a statement. “Our school district is bound by student and personnel laws and cannot jeopardize sharing information that is not our information to share.”
On Dec. 5, a school employee reported an incident involving a staff member and a student to school administration. The incident was then reported to the state Department of Health and Human Resources and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department.
The staff member was immediately removed from the classroom and placed on administrative leave while the incident pending an investigation, according to Opequon Elementary Principal Dr. Krista Ematrudo.
“I have been informed that the staff member under investigation has been charged with assault and battery of a disabled child which is the direct result of the mandated report. It is important for you to know that the parents of all students impacted were notified of the incident by telephone. While I cannot share additional details as this is both a legal and personnel matter, please know that I will continue to put the safety of our students as a top priority,” Ematrudo said in a message to the school community.
Ematrudo said the school wants to hear from students and staff.
“It is a common practice that if you see something, you say something and that all allegations are taken seriously,” she said.