MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia special education teacher who was accused of holding an autistic boy upside-down and lowering him head-first into a trash can while comparing him to Oscar the Grouch says she was trying to calm the boy, not hurt him.
At a school system hearing Monday near Atlanta, Mary Katherine Pursley said the second-grader was screaming and upset April 30, and she was trying to “shake out the grouchy.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://on-ajc.com/19h2mCB) that a panel of former educators at the hearing will decide whether she’s dismissed from Cobb County Schools.
Separately, Pursley faces a felony charge of first-degree cruelty to children.
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Her lawyer, Warren Fortson, said her actions were not inappropriate, and that she has used characters such as Oscar the Grouch to help calm special education students.