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Michigan teacher placed on leave for 'forcibly moving student down hallway,' superintendent says

Jennifer Sumbera arraigned on fourth-degree child abuse charge

Jennifer Sumbera (WDIV)
Jennifer Sumbera (WDIV)

WOLVERINE, Mich. – A Michigan teacher was arrested and placed on administrative leave on suspicion of "forcibly moving a student down a school hallway," according to the district superintendent.

Jennifer Sumbera, 44, of Wolverine, turned herself in Wednesday after a warrant was issued April 29 by the Cheboygan County Prosecutor's Office.

Sumbera was arraigned Wednesday in 89th District Court on a fourth-degree child abuse charge.

Wolverine Community Schools Superintendent Stephen C. Seelye released a statement Tuesday, saying Sumbera was immediately placed on leave when the school launched an investigation into the alleged incident.

The student was not injured during the April 9 incident, Seelye said.

"The actions of the teacher clearly warrant investigation and a review of all facts in order to determine an appropriate outcome," Seelye said in the statement.

If convicted, Sumbera could face up to one year in jail, officials said.

Here is the full statement from 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."


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