Woodlawn Middle teacher says student assaulted her

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BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Several members of the Alamance County school board sat quietly in Juvenile Court Thursday as they heard for the first time what happened to a Woodlawn Middle School teacher on Feb. 3.

Riley filed charges against an eighth grade student in her class after she said he assaulted her.

According to Riley, she was walking in the hallway at Woodlawn when she said the eighth-grade student came from behind, put her in a chokehold and told her she had a pretty mouth.

The teen told the judge that he was acting on an impulse and it was just a joke.

However, nobody seemed to be laughing. School board member Tony Rose, who was present in court, said this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in the district.

"For a teacher to have an experience like what we saw in court today is very troubling, and we certainly don’t want that going on in our school," Rose said.

Riley's incident is just the latest in a string of events that have plagued the school. Just within the past year, Alamance County Sheriff's Deputies investigated Facebook threats and an unreported sexual assault to authorities, which is required by law.

Records given to the North Carolina Board of Education showed that 181 criminal acts were committed in the district during the 2010-11 school year. Only three were reported at Woodlawn.

"Certainly we don’t want our students to be hurt, and we don’t our teachers to be hurt. We would hope that these events never would happen," Rose said.

The student was removed from Riley's class. The school district would not comment on what disciplinary action was taken. The student was supposed to take a plea deal offered by the District Attorney's office, but the family of the teen did not like the court's recommendations. Riley's case against the student is still ongoing.

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