A local special education teacher is under arrest, accused of getting into a physical altercation with an 11-year-old autistic child on a school bus.
New York State Police have arrested 40-year-old Lorna Collins-Mihill of Rensselaer after a reported physical altercation with a student.
Collins-Mihill is a special education teacher in the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District.
The arrest isn't sitting well with some parents.
“Something fell through the cracks to have someone have an altercation with an 11-year-old, it just doesn't make no sense,” said father of four, Robert Deaver.
Police say the altercation happened on a school bus back in May.
The student's father contacted State Police and they launched the month-long investigation.
Collins-Mihill is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and harassment.
“I do not believe that she did that,” explained substitute teacher Tracy McDonald, who says she worked with Collins-Mihill just a couple months ago.
She is convinced this whole situation must be a misunderstanding
“I know what goes on in that classroom and Lorna in awesome with those kids, and all the kids have disabilities, and she would never hit one of those kids,” McDonald said.
In an email, Superintendent Randall Squier wrote, “We have received word of the arrest of Lorna Collins. Our school district worked diligently with the State Police and the Office of the District Attorney throughout the investigation leading to this arrest. We will continue to assist as this matter moves through the criminal justice system. The Board of Education and the administration of the C-A Central School District have every confidence that the State Police and our District Attorney will bring this matter to a just conclusion.”
Collins-Mihill was released on an appearance ticket and she's due back in court Monday.