Portland teacher accused of hurting student resigns during heate - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland teacher accused of hurting student resigns during heated meeting

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Teacher Frank O'Brien at Thursday's school board meeting. (KPTV) Teacher Frank O'Brien at Thursday's school board meeting. (KPTV)

A teacher at a Portland charter school publicly resigned during a heated school board meeting Thursday after parents say he physically hurt a student. 

A mother said her 13-year-old son, a student at Portland Village School, came home from school with bruises around his neck. She said he was assaulted by a fifth-grade teacher.

The student’s aunt, Jolene Hall-Lopez, said, “The teacher continued to restrain him by dragging him up the flight of stairs by his neck, slamming him against the wall twice and locking him in the room. The parents were not called and told until 2:30 in the afternoon.” 

Paul Berg, the principal of Portland Village School, told FOX 12 that fifth-grade teacher Frank O’Brien was put on leave after he was accused of inappropriately physically restraining a student on March 22. 

According to the principal, O’Brien was not being paid for six days but was being paid for the rest of his leave. 

Berg said the teacher was at the meeting to appeal that decision, but in the end, he apologized to the student’s parents and then he said he publicly resigned. 

“It’s been determined that you physically restrained a student when circumstances did not call for such action,” Berg said. 

A parent at the meeting said, “There’s an adult teacher who put their hands on a child – I’m an educator – and as an educator of very young people I find that absolutely appalling and completely absurd that this person still has their job and we have to have this meeting right now.” 

Another parent said, “Don’t put your hands on someone else’s kids. Period. That’s the unwritten rule. If they don’t tell you that, you should automatically know that. There is no reason to justify a grown man grabbing any kid in this school.” 

During Thursday night's meeting, parents were shouting, school board members were crying and at one point, police also arrived. 

The student’s parents also said someone wrote the n-word on their car. The school sent out a letter to parents explaining what had happened and say they are investigating that. 

Portland police also confirmed that they responded to an incident at the school last month but they would not elaborate. 

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