Parents of students at Bill Hefner Elementary in Cumberland County are upset that a teacher cleared of an assault charge is back in their child’s classroom.
Updated: Caudill pled guilty in 2019. The state revoked the teacher’s license in March 2020.
ABC 11 reported:
Krystal Rodriguez’s son, Dylan, is on the autism spectrum. If you know anything about that, you know schedules and routines are important. But Rodriguez says she’s keeping her son out of school at Bill Hefner Elementary until April Caudill is out of the classroom.
“That really just upsets me because he’s been waiting for this day and now we have to wait longer,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez first met Ms. Caudill at Bill Hefner Elementary’s open house. She didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her so once she got home she said she googled to learn more.
“The first thing that popped up was her mugshot,” said Rodriguez.
April Michelle Caudill, age 37, was arrested in January for misdemeanor assault on a handicapped person while working at J.W. Coon Elementary. The child who was struck is a nonverbal student who often wears a helmet for protection due to seizures.
Caudill was cleared of the charge after witnesses failed to show up to court. State licensing records show no disciplinary action to her license, but those disciplinary records maintained on a website by the State Board of Education have not been updated since March.
According to ABC 11, Cumberland County Schools indicated Caudill had never been fired but had been suspended with pay.
“As a school system, we strive to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff, and we hold all of our employees to high standards. Whenever we receive allegations of inappropriate conduct, we always investigate and take the appropriate action based on our findings,” said Cumberland County Public Schools in a statement.
UPDATE: As of 3/11/2020 Caudill’s NC teaching license was revoked and the reason given on the revocations records page is ” Other-No contest plea – Assault on a Handicapped Person.” In Aug. 2019, the Cumberland District Attorney reopened the case. By Oct. 2019, Caudill had pleaded guilty to assaulting a handicapped student.