JCPS teacher fired after admitting to putting student in chokeho - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

JCPS teacher fired after admitting to putting student in chokehold

A Rutherford Elementary School teacher is off the job after being accused of hitting a kindergartner and admitting to putting him in a chokehold. (Source: WAVE 3 News) A Rutherford Elementary School teacher is off the job after being accused of hitting a kindergartner and admitting to putting him in a chokehold. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  A Jefferson County Public Schools teacher is off the job after being accused of hitting a kindergartner and admitting to putting him in a chokehold.

On Sept. 15, Rutherford Elementary School teacher Theresa Mason received a termination letter from JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens. While several complaints are in Mason's file, her conduct on May 5 led to her firing. According to the letter, an investigator with Child Protective Services determined Mason hit a disruptive kindergartener on the arm after he kicked another student.

"You held him by the shirt and allowed the other student to kick him back," the letter from Hargens to Mason reads. 

In a signed statement to CPS, Mason wrote she did not slap the student, but she admitted physically restraining the student. 

"I did hold him in a chokehold and tell another kid to kick him," Mason wrote. "I may have grabbed the back of his shirt as he was running around the classroom taunting other students." 

Mason closes her statement by saying, "I would never hurt any child." 

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Some students and the instructional assistant were part of the investigation.

Complaints and investigations involving Mason go back to 2009, when she was a counselor at Fern Creek Elementary. They range from her being accused of yelling at a co-worker in front of students and staff, to questions about responding properly when a child left the school and was found by a parent running on Bardstown Road, to a 2012 comment for which Mason was reprimanded for telling elementary students, "Wearing short shorts is setting themselves up for being raped and that the man at the bus stop would wait for their moment to snatch them."

In the latter case, Mason responded she could have handled it better, but stated she didn't believe what she said was "too strong for fifth graders." 

WAVE 3 News was not able to reach Mason for comment. JCPS tells us, it can not comment on personnel matters. 

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