Marietta, GA (WGCL) — A teacher in Cobb County is accused of putting one of her special needs students head-first into a trash can.
Mary Katherine Pursley was arrested Monday for the April 30 incident, and has since been released from jail on bond.
CBS46 heard from parents Thursday afternoon who said they tried to warn the school before the incident that led to her arrest. This time, Pursley’s fellow teachers are the ones who witnessed her latest actions and reported her to police.
Parents of other children arrived at Mt. Bethel Elementary on Thursday with their attorneys to confront school officials about why they didn’t take their prior claims about the same teacher seriously before. They didn’t want CBS46 to reveal their identities, but we have their statements recorded.
“Now I’m just happy that somebody stepped forward. But it’s sad that it took an adult to say that they saw something, versus a child who was experiencing it,” said one parent, “My son has come home with marks on his body that were not done by him, or at the playground, or by another student. Things of that nature. Cursing- my child doesn’t curse, but he knows fifty million cuss words that his teacher has used towards him.”
Mary Katherine Pursley was arrested this week on a felony charge of cruelty to children. Witnesses told police she was trying to get the child to calm down, so she said if he didn’t stop behaving like Oscar the Grouch, she was going to put him in a trash can.
According to the warrant, Pursley then held the boy upside down by his legs and dipped him into a trash can head first, all the while he was screaming and crying for her to stop.
“It needs to be taken very, very seriously, that these kids are moved into this unit to get this type of care. Not to be abused. Not to be cursed at. Not to be treated where they are so terrified that they are afraid too afraid to report something to their parent where they feel it will be ignored,” said an anonymous parent.
“I just need Cobb County to take responsibility. They’re destroying innocent kids. They’re destroying them.”
CBS46 stopped by Pursley’s house to try and get her side, but there was no answer at the door.