Abilene ISD Releases Statement on Teacher Accused of Biting Autistic Student

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) -  Abilene ISD Superintendent David Young released the following statement after the arrest of a Locust Early Childhood Center teacher accused of biting an autistic student:

“When the allegations first came to the school’s attention, administrators acted swiftly to report the incident to the Abilene Police Department. The teacher was immediately placed on leave during the course of the police investigation and has not returned to the classroom or interacted with students again. She has subsequently resigned from the Abilene Independent School District. The safety of our students is our top priority, and we are grateful for the immediate reporting by witnesses and for the cooperation from the Abilene Police Department.”

The teacher, Kirsten Barnett, 25, was arrested on an Injury to a Child charge Tuesday then released from the Taylor County Jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

Court documents say a teacher's aide saw Barnett restrain the autistic child, age 4,  in her lap after he refused to follow her commands. The documents go on to claim the aide told police the child was "squirming and pushing" against Barnett, so she "bent down and bit [the child] on the face and the ear."

The child then yelled "no!" then Barnett, "immediately began to rub his cheek," according to the documents.

The documents also state another worker was able to see a visible bite mark on the child's face.


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