Warren County teacher charged with assault of 8-year-old Dayton boy

Attorney says teacher acted reasonably in incident with ‘uncontrollable child;’ arraignment set for May 30.

A Warren County Educational Service Center teacher accused of shoving an 8-year-old boy to a hallway floor had her May 12 arraignment on an assault charge delayed in Franklin Municipal Court so she could have time to hire an attorney.

Court clerks said her case was reset to May 30, at which time she will be arraigned on the assault charge, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Kathryn N. Spitznogle, 28, of Waynesville, allegedly shoved an 8-year-old boy to the hallway floor May 5 at the Warren County Learning Center/Laura Farrell Campus, 513 Park Ave., according to a Franklin police incident report.

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School Resource Officer David Yost was contacted by Principal Wiley Collett at the Laura Farrell campus and was told the incident began after the boy was asked to write an apology letter to another student, according to the report.

The school, which has video security cameras in the hallways, showed Spitznogle escort the student into the hallway and place him on the yellow tiles on the floor. The video shows the boy running back into the classroom as Spitznogle is attempting to close the door, according to police.

After they are back in the hall, the video shows the boy running back toward Spitznogle, who is seen pushing him with one hand. The boy re-approaches, and swings at Spitznogle as she leans against her classroom door, according to the report.

After Spitznogle leans against the door, the boy approaches her again and appears to be leaning against her. She then pushes him away multiple times as he keeps approaching. The video showed that on the third push, she forcefully pushes the boy, causing him to fall to the ground, according to the report.

Police said Spitznogle was interviewed by the principal and by the program supervisor. Spitznogle said, “she was frustrated, the child’s head was near her crotch, and nobody else was in her room that could help her,” according to police.

Warren County ESC officials said the boy’s head was near her chest.

After reviewing the investigation information, the Franklin city prosecutor’s office determined that Spitznogle should be charged with assault. Yost served Spitznogle with a summons on May 11 to appear May 12 for arraignment. She was released on her own recognizance.

When contacted by the Dayton Daily News about the incident, Spitznogle declined to comment.

Her attorney, David Anthony Chicarelli said, “Kathryn has no record. She reacted reasonably in light of the totality of the circumstances in dealing with an unruly and uncontrollable child.”

Warren County ESC Superintendent Tom Isaacs said the first-year teacher was placed on administrative leave and he will not recommend that her contract be renewed for the next school year. Isaacs called her behavior “inappropriate.” He said she had no disciplinary issues in her file. The incident also has been reported to the Ohio Department of Education.

The Laura Farrell Learning Center serves children with severe emotional issues, and children are from Warren County and other counties. The boy involved in the incident was a second-grader from Dayton.

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