Fort Worth district teacher on paid leave after run-in with student

FORT WORTH -- A Handley Middle School teacher is on paid leave after a student claimed the woman choked her.

The teacher, however, told Fort Worth police that she was trying to restrain the girl after the sixth-grader pushed her into a wall. The teacher, who has been with the Fort Worth school district for 31 years, was placed on administrative leave after the Nov. 3 incident as police and district officials investigate.

The Star-Telegram isn't identifying the teacher because no charges have been filed. District officials declined to comment.

The girl told police that she tried to return to the cafeteria after lunch because she had forgotten her purse but that the teacher told her no. The girl said that she tried to walk around the woman to go to the office but that the teacher grabbed her and put her arm around the student's neck, according to the police report.

"I told her to 'get off of me with your big self' because you are choking me," according to the police report.

But the teacher told police that the girl had argued about going to the gym after lunch and then tried to return to the cafeteria three times. On the girl's last try, the teacher said, the student tried to go past her. "She pushed me into the wall and grabbed onto me," according to the report. "No one came to help me."

The teacher told police that the girl was still holding onto her and grabbing at the woman's arms as she took her to the office, so she held the student around the shoulders.

Eva-Marie Ayala, 817-390-7700