An employee of St. Therese Catholic Academy in Seattle has been placed on administrative leave after allegedly removing his belt and hitting two children with it last week.
The two students had apparently ignored the employee’s repeated orders to stop throwing pencils at each other when the man allegedly hit them on the buttocks with a belt Wednesday, according to a report from the Seattle Police Department, which is investigating the incident. Neither of the students needed to be treated for injuries afterward, and they returned to their classes that day, the report says.
The employee was filling in as a before-school care supervisor for a teacher who had called in sick, said Seattle Archdiocese spokesman, Greg Magnoni. The man has worked at the school in a number of roles since 2006, including as custodian, playground supervisor and driver, Magnoni said.
Upon learning of the alleged physical punishment, the school principal asked the employee to leave the school then contacted parents and police.
“The school followed our policy and reported the incident to police,” Magnoni said. “We take any accusation of misconduct very seriously, so at this point, we are allowing the investigation to go forward.”
The school and archdiocese will decide on the appropriate action to take with the employee once the investigation is complete, according to Magnoni.
According to the police report of the incident, one of the student’s parents said she would prefer to handle the incident with the school. It is not immediately known how the other student’s parents are handling the incident.