Investigators probe accusations against South Summit teacher
April 27, 2010
Investigators say they have not spoken with a teacher at South Summit Middle School who is accused of hitting a boy in the head with a notebook.
"The teacher has declined the interview and once they say they don’t want to talk to us, we can’t force the issue beyond that," Summit County Attorney David Brickey said. "We asked the detective involved in this to interview [the teacher.] He said that [the teacher] respectfully declined."
A student claimed the teacher assaulted him on April 7. The teacher, who lives in the South Summit area, has not been charged. The names of people who are accused of crimes are usually not printed in The Park Record until formal charges are filed.
Brickey said he also has not spoken with the teacher’s young accuser.
The teacher declined to comment when reached by the newspaper on Monday. He could face charges related to child abuse and assault, a spokesman for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said.
Evidence is still being gathered in the case, Brickey said.
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"At this point, we are just getting as much information as we can relevant to the allegation made by the young man," Brickey said.
He said he is not aware of any confrontation that might have led to the teacher assaulting the boy in the school gymnasium.
"The report talks about some of the things that were going on in the gymnasium at the time, and that’s some of what we are getting information on," Brickey said.
The injuries the boy suffered were not life threatening. He was taken to Park City Medical Center.
"We’ve asked for some clarification specifically related to the injuries," Brickey said. "That’s part of the charging decisions, determining how serious the injuries are."
The teacher was placed on leave at the time of the incident. But he has returned to his teaching position.
"I don’t know why he is refusing to talk to the police," said Matt Leavitt, a member of the South Summit Board of Education. "[School administrators] have made us aware that something has happened and there could be civil or criminal litigation."
The teacher accused of hitting the boy has met with Superintendent Barry Walker and Wade Woolstenhulme, principal at South Summit Middle School, Leavitt said.