CHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Mich. – Troopers from the Gaylord Post were called to investigate a complaint of child abuse involving a teacher and student at Wolverine Elementary School on April 9.
The investigation led to a warrant being issued April 29 by the Cheboygan County Prosecutor’s Office for 44-year-old Jennifer Sumbera, of Wolverine, on suspicion of fourth-degree child abuse.
Sumbera is a teacher at Wolverine Elementary School and has been placed on administrative leave throughout the course of the investigation.
Sumbera turned herself in May 1 to the Cheboygan County Sheriff’s Department, and was arraigned in the 89th District Court in Cheboygan on the same day.
If convicted, Sumbera could face up to one year in jail.
Here is a statement from Wolverine Community Schools Superintendent Stephen C. Seelye:
"At Wolverine Community Schools, the safety of our students, staff and families is our number one priority.
"On April 3, we received a report that a teacher in our elementary building forcibly moved a student down a school hallway. In accordance with district policies and procedures, we immediately launched an investigation and placed the teacher on administrative leave. The student did not suffer any injuries in connection with the incident, but the actions of the teacher clearly warrant investigation and a review of all facts in order to determine an appropriate outcome.
"In addition to our investigation, police also launched an investigation, and the case is currently in the court system. The teacher will remain on administrative leave pending the results of the ongoing legal process.
"Jennifer Sumbera was arraigned in court last week on what we understand to be misdemeanor charges related to the incident. Out of respect for the privacy of all parties involved, and because the legal process is ongoing, we will not be making further comment while the matter proceeds. We will provide an update as appropriate if more information becomes available.
"Again, at Wolverine Community Schools, the safety of our students, staff and families is our number one priority."