Middle school parapro arrested, charged for allegedly grabbing student's neck

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A middle school paraprofessional left campus in handcuffs Thursday and his job is now on the line.

Cobb County School District police said Andrew Taylor, a paraprofessional at Garrett Middle School in Austell, put his hands around a child’s neck Wednesday.

A school district spokesperson said Taylor is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Taylor is 6-foor-2 and 250 pounds, and some parents at the school worried he could’ve seriously hurt the child.

“He’s an adult. That’s a child. You’re obviously bigger than him,” said Angelina Craig, a mother of a seventh grade student. “If you don’t want to work around children, if you can’t control yourself working around children, you shouldn’t be doing it.”


Police said Taylor put his left hand around the back of a child’s neck, pushed downward and escorted the child to a classroom with a “grip on the neck.”

In a letter to parents, the principal told parents, “I regret to inform you that one of our staff members made a poor choice earlier this week.”

Taylor is charged with simple battery. A judge ordered him to stay away from Garrett Middle School and all Cobb County Schools property.

Taylor is out on a $1,000 bond.

In a statement, a district spokesperson said:

“It has been alleged that a staff member made a poor choice earlier this week and is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. We are following district policy to maintain the safety and security of our school and students—our highest priority.”