FORREST CITY, Ark. — A Special Education teacher is off the job for spraying mace in the face of a special needs student.
53-year-old Keresia Jones is the focus of the incident which was caught on camera at Forrest City High School.
Several misdemeanor charges are pending including 3rd degree battery, possession of tear gas-pepper spray and terroristic threatening.
The District Superintendent took action quickly after the incident was reported.
Forrest City Schools Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Hardrick would not elaborate on what reportedly happened Monday at Forrest City High School involving Jones and a male special needs student.
“The District has launched an investigation, along with the local Police department,” said Forrest City Schools Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Hardrick.
According to the Forrest City Police incident report, the high school’s Resource Officer was in the cafeteria and saw Jones “following the student and yelling at him to settle down and get his tray.”
The report said the student appeared agitated but followed her instructions and put the tray on the cafeteria table.
Then the report stated the student started walking toward Jones and she yelled at him to stop.
Before the officer could act, Jones reportedly sprayed the student’s face with mace.
Before the incident, security camera video reportedly showed Jones “pursuing the student around the cafeteria, threatening him repeatedly.”
The Resource Officer took the unidentified student to the restroom to wash out his eyes and verified the student had indeed been sprayed with mace.
The Police report went on to say that the student attempted to kick the teacher after he returned to his table.
The Superintendent said Jones violated policy by having the mace in school.
The 53-year-old teacher was removed from the campus but Dr. Hardrick would not say whether the teacher was suspended with or without pay.
“We did take immediate and, what I consider to be, appropriate action as soon as the allegations were brought to my attention, in regards to the teacher,” said Superintendent Dr. Hardrick.
Jones, who has only been teaching at Forrest City High School for about two years, gave an address in Hickory Hill as her home.
We knocked on the door but no one answered.
Back in Forrest City, Ray McKinney found news of the incident very disturbing.
“I think the teacher needs to be disciplined. To set an example that parents shouldn’t have to worry about their students being attacked by the teachers,” said McKinney.
We’re told Jones could be formally charged as soon as a judge signs the affidavit of complaint against her.