Chino Hills teacher cited for classroom incident hours after parents rally in her support

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A kindergarten teacher at a Chino Hills elementary school was placed on administrative leave and then cited following accusations she assaulted one of her students.

Despite the allegations, parents on Monday staged a rally in support of teachers outside Butterfield Ranch Elementary.

"All I can tell you is that this teacher is absolutely the best teacher in the world, said parent Kevin Butscher.

Butscher says his daughter is in the class with the accused teacher.

MORE: Chino Hills teacher accused of grabbing, throwing 6-year-old student in class
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A Chino Hills mother is demanding answers after she says her 6-year-old son was grabbed by the neck and thrown to the floor by a teacher.

"I have seen her so has the parents that are around here have seen her in the classroom being super super patient, I am not patient," said Butscher.

The parent rally was held in the morning. Later that afternoon a school district spokesperson said the teacher had been arrested and cited by police. However, San Bernardino County sheriff's detectives later refuted that account, telling ABC7 that the teacher was contacted and cite-released on a misdemeanor charge.

A completed report will be submitted to the district attorney's office for review, a sheriff's spokesperson said.

Eyewitness News spoke to Monique Alexander regarding the incident involving her six-year-old son, Chance. She said while he has some behavioral issues they were working on with the school nothing warranted what took place last Thursday.

"The principal called me at 2:30-ish and says that your son was physically assaulted by a teacher and another one of the teacher's peers witnessed it," said Alexander.

Alexander's son described the encounter.

"She just came up to me grabbed my shirt and like... throw me," said Chance.

Parents say the allegations come on the heels of a contentious school board meeting in which all but three teachers at the school asked to be transferred. The January 16th meeting parents and teachers complained the school's principal Al Bennett had created a toxic environment.

"Everything has changed since he has been here and we want our school back period," said Brian Rodriguez.

Parents have called on the Chino Valley Unified School District for a leadership change. In a statement the district said,

"Last week, Chino Valley Unified School District was made aware of an incident involving a teacher and a kindergarten student at Butterfield Ranch Elementary School. The witness to the incident reported the incident to Child Protective Services, in accordance with California mandatory reporting laws. The Butterfield Ranch Elementary School Principal was not the reporting party. The District is conducting an internal investigation into this matter and cooperating with the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department - Crimes Against Children Unit, who is conducting their own investigation into this matter. Chino Valley Unified School District is taking this matter very seriously. Providing a safe and secure learning environment for our students has and always will be our first priority as a school district.

Chino Valley Unified School district is aware of teacher concerns at Butterfield Ranch Elementary and addressing all complaints accordingly."
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