DeKalb County

Teacher arrested after police say he assaulted elementary school student

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A teacher at a DeKalb County elementary school was arrested after police say he pushed a student down on the ground.

Channel 2's Tyisha Fernandes was at Flat Rock Elementary School in Lithonia, where Arthur Anderson is accused of assaulting the student, who is not being identified. Police said the student was left with bruises on the head.

The incident happened March 26 and Anderson was removed from the classroom the next day. He was arrested April 9.

Fernandes has learned that despite the arrest, Anderson was still on paid leave as of Wednesday afternoon

Fernandes spoke to parents, who all said they didn't know Anderson had been arrested.

"Why didn't we know?" Ebony Huber, who has a fourth-grader at the school, said. "The school should have been the first to defend themselves in that instance."

School officials said that on March 24, a student accused Anderson of pushing him so hard he fell on the ground and hit his head, leaving a big bruise on his head.

The next day, officials took Anderson out of the classroom and started an investigation.

Two weeks later, police arrested Anderson and charged with him assault and battery.

Huber said it doesn't matter, what the child did, Anderson's alleged behavior is inexcusable.

"These kids are small, little," Huber said. "They can’t defend themselves like that, so to put your hand on a child – that’s out of line."


Huber also said school officials never notified parents about what happened.

School officials admitted to Fernandes that they did not notify parents. They said they don't send out letters or emails for every incident and since this didn't affect any other students, they chose not to alert other parents.

"All parents should have a right to know," Huber said. "Send letters home or lets us know something so we can be aware."

The alleged assault is still under investigation both as a criminal allegation and as a district investigation to figure out if Anderson violated school policy. It's unclear how long Anderson will remain on paid leave.

Teachers convicted of abusing children in Georgia can lose their certification in addition to criminal charges.

Comments on this article