Ga. teacher arrested for pulling special needs child by legs, putting foot on her back, police say

A Lee County teacher was arrested and now faces three felony counts of cruelty to children.

WALB reports that Ashton Long Cleveland, 39, was released on a $5,000 bond.

Lee County school officials called police about a concerning incident between Cleveland and a female student at Kinchafoonee Primary School on Friday, April 12.

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According to a police report, Cleveland was seen on a security camera inappropriately handling a special needs student and another student in a different situation.

The report states the special needs child was having an “active” day and that during a class change, Cleveland was seen removing the child from class by pulling her legs across the floor.

Police said Cleveland was seen on camera grabbing the child from the back and pushing her.

In another incident, police said the child was on the floor and Cleveland placed her foot on the center of the girl’s back.

On Thursday, April 11, police said Cleveland is shown on camera with a different child where she “kicks at the child several times while seated.”


Lee County Schools released the following statement:

“An employee of the Lee County School System has been arrested on three counts of cruelty to a child. The employee was placed on administrative leave last week. The district takes these types of offenses very seriously. As always, we are fully cooperating with law enforcement. The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority, and the school system will continue to follow all safety policies and procedures. No further information can be shared at this time as this is an active investigation.”

Police are still investigating and trying to determine if there are more victims in this case.

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