Baker Heights Librarian charged with cruelty

CrimeTracker

POSTED: Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 2:04pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 3:23pm

THIS IS AN NBC33 NEWS UPDATE - According to reports, The School Board has appoved a 5 day suspension on Librarian Maxine Gray at Baker Heights Elementary.

Baker Heights Librarian Maxine Gray is charged with cruelty to a juvenile after police say she choked a 9-year-old boy. 

According to the police report, Gray was the only teacher in the room when the boy began acting out, refusing to sit down. By the time another teacher walked in, the boy was hysterical, accusing Gray of holding him still with one hand and squeezing his neck with the other. A teacher who walked in on the act says the boy was his way back to his seat when the librarian grabbed him by the neck again, yelling at him and pushing him repeatedly until he was in the hall. That teacher told police she had to act as a physical barrier between the boy and Gray. Gray denies the charges.

All this happened nearly two months ago, on Sept 1, 2011. Police were only told about the crime when the boy's mother called them saying the school system wasn't acting fast enough. Baker Police Chief Mike Knapps says the school system didn't report the case earlier because the School Board has to hear testimony before a committee before taking action, and those hearings take a long time to set up.

But the boy's mother told police she was concerned about her son's safety and the other Baker Heights students, with Gray still working at the school. The mother eventually pressed charges herself, saying she couldn't put those kids safety in jeopardy  any longer.

This is the second teacher in Baker charged with cruelty to a juveline in just over a week. Back on October 19th, Bakerfield Elementary School teacher Mildred Russ was also charged with cruelty to a juvenile after she reportedly choked and dragged the student on the playground during recess.

Comments News Comments

If you pull Ms. Gray's job description as Librarian, it does not state that she is a "fill in", or that she is assigned to watch other classes. A Principal that assigns other school personnel to watch another teacher's class is asking for trouble! Why was the witnessing teacher out of the classroom during instructional time, to begin with? If she had faith enough in Ms. Gray to leave a classroom full of little children with her, why doesn't she back her? Why would she "rat out" someone who was helping her, based upon the word of a child? Who do you think will watch this teacher's class now??

This teacher was arrested for an alleged incident that took place almost 2 months ago! If she is "cruel " enough to be arrested, why didn't the school Principal, or the teacher who witnessed it report it to the police AT THE TIME IT SUPPOSEDLY HAPPENED? Why aren't they being held accountable? They are mandated reporters, and the law REQUIRES them to report any and all abuse. Why did the Principal allow this teacher to be at school, in charge of minor children for almost 2 months after the alleged abuse occurred? Why didn't the Baker school system place Ms. Gray on paid administrative leave , which is their policy, when the incident was reported to them almost 2 months ago? Why is the name of the teacher who witnessed the alleged abuse not mentioned? If he/she can give statements to the police, why can't he/she own it and stand by it publicly? If I had the courage to report such an incident, I surely wouldn't remain unnamed or anonymous. I worked with Ms. Maxine Gray for two years, and I never saw anything even remotely inappropriate, much less abusive! She is a dedicated professional, and a fine woman. I smell a rat!

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