SALT LAKE CITY — A former special education teacher at an elementary school in West Valley City has been charged with abuse of a disabled child in connection with a February 16 incident in her classroom.
According to a probable cause statement, 57-year-old Cindy Bell was a teacher at Silver Hills Elementary.
A witness told police she entered Bell's classroom that day and she could tell Bell was "upset and annoyed."
The witness attempted to help Bell by keeping the students on task, but the students had trouble focusing because the school day was almost over, the statement says.
Bell began reading a story to the students, then asked an aid to continue reading the story as she walked among the students, an officer wrote.
Bell tripped and fell over one of the students and, soon afterward, another student "began mimicking Bell and falling onto the other students," the statement says.
The witness told police she tried to help get the student under control, but Bell yelled at her, saying she would take care of it.
The witness sat down and saw a student kneeling near Bell's desk.
According to police, Bell struck the student on the back of the head three times.
Police said the student, who is significantly disabled and has limited verbal capacity, began to cry, saying "You hit me. You hit me."
Bell's abuse of a disabled child charge is a third-degree felony. She has been summoned to appear in Third District Court on June 7.
A Granite School District spokesman confirmed Bell was place on administrative leave on February 17 and she resigned on April 5. Bell worked for the district since 2001.