Two teachers who formerly taught at a school in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, have been arrested on charges of bullying students.
Back in February, the mother of an 11-year-old child filed a complaint with the local sheriff’s office, reports WAFB. She said that her child had been bullied by her teacher, 44-year-old Ann Marie Shelvin. After filing the report with the sheriff’s office, the mother also reported the bullying to the school board.
Unfortunately, the bullying continued. On April 5, the child’s mother filed charges — rather than another complaint — with the sheriff’s office. In the investigation that followed, officials reportedly found that Shelvin had threatened to fail three other students if they refused to bully their 11-year-old classmate. She also allegedly told the 11-year-old child to commit suicide.
On April 24, the mother of another student — one who was coerced into bullying the 11-year-old — told the detectives investigating the situation that the bullying had been occurring since October 2016. She also said that when Shelvin was escorted out of the school, another woman, 50-year-old Tracy Gallow, took over teaching the class. According to WWL, Gallow was Shelvin’s teacher’s aide.
Gallow reportedly abused the child, with the child’s mother claiming that she did so because the child had reported Shelvin’s attempts at coercion to the school’s principle. Detectives say that they viewed surveillance footage of Gallow pushing the child from the gym’s bleachers on two separate occasions.
In the time following the incidents, both Shelvin and Gallow have been arrested. Gallow is facing charges of malfeasance in office, simple battery, intimidation and interference in school operation, according to KATC. Shelvin is facing charges of two counts encouraging or contributing to child delinquency, one count malfeasance in office, and two counts intimidation and interference in the operation of schools.
Superintendent Patrick Jenkins issued a statement regarding the event, in which he assured parents that the school was aware of the event and was taking steps to ensure the well-being of all students. He declined to share information regarding the personal details of the students involved and said there would be no further comments.
“Students should not have to attend school and be bullied especially by teachers that are there for their education, guidance and safety,” said Sheriff Bobby Guidroz regarding the incident, according to WAFB. “The parents did the right thing, they reported it to the school board, and continued to monitor and talk to their children. The bullying continued and they took the next step by contacting law enforcement again.”
Sources: KATC, WWL, WAFB / Photo credit: Working Word /Flickr