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Michigan teacher charged for allegedly assaulting student in class

A March 26, 2019, mug shot of Donna Jones from the Kent County Correctional Facility.
A March 26, 2019, mug shot of Donna Jones from the Kent County Correctional Facility.

A now former Michigan teacher is facing child abuse charges after allegedly assaulting a student in class earlier this year.

Donna Lynne Jones, 48, was charged with fourth-degree child abuse for the late January incident. She turned herself in to authorities Tuesday, WOOD reports. The charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in prison.

Jones taught on Kent Career Technical Center in West Michigan for more than a decade.

Kent Intermediate School District Superintendent Ron Caniff told WOOD the incident stems from a class on the Heimlich maneuver. The victim asked Jones what to do if the patient choking was too large for the person to put their arms around.

That's when Jones suddenly “struck a blow” to the student’s abdomen, Caniff said. “That's what you do,” the teacher reportedly said to the victim, Caniff told WOOD

“When it was brought to our attention, we immediately investigated,” Caniff told WOOD Wednesday evening. “We placed the teacher on administrative leave.”

The district conducted an investigation before turning the case over to the prosecutor's office. Jones resigned at the end of the probe.

“My understanding is the student is doing OK, certainly physically,” Caniff said. “As you can only imagine, it was something that was very concerning to the student.”

“This is a fine young man,” Caniff said. “There was no behavioral situation that precipitated this incident. It wasn't as if the student was acting out or any of that.”


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