Marietta, Georgia — A teacher from the Mt. Bethel Elementary School in Atlanta was charged last week with cruelty to children after she allegedly put a child with autism in a trash can.
According to a report filed by the Cobb County Police, the incident happened after an after-school program, while the child was having a meltdown which reportedly stemmed from what appears to be an altercation with a classmate.
Based on the police report, when the child wouldn’t calm down, special needs teacher Mary Katherine Pursley told the child about how “trashy” behavior would put someone in the trash can, like Oscar the Grouch.
Pursley then reportedly let the child hang over a trash can by grabbing him upside down by his legs.
According to an unnamed employee who witnessed the incident, the young boy was screaming “stop” as Pursley asked him, “Are you going to stop yelling now?”
Administrators from the Cobb County School District System declined to comment on the incident, but a spokesman from the district did confirm that Pursley is indeed a special needs teacher at the Mt. Bethel Elementary School, and that she is now on a paid administrative leave while investigation over the incident is ongoing.
As reported by WNEM, parents have been complaining about Pursley for some time prior to this incident.
According to the Cobb County Sheriff’s office, Pursley was released Tuesday after posting a $5,000 bond. The charge against Pursley is a felony charge of first-degree cruelty to children.
Dante Renzulli at WNEM More accusations against teacher arrested for putting child in trash can