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East St. Louis school employee accused of assaulting an 8-year-old boy

Police said the personal care aide grabbed the boy by the throat and slammed him into a desk.

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A Metro East teacher's aid is facing charges, after being accused of violently attacking an 8-year-old student in the classroom.

The St. Clair State's Attorney office tells 5 On Your Side, an employee at Katie Harper-Wright Elementary School in East St. Louis is accused of grabbing an 8-year-old boy by the throat and slamming him into a desk.

The incident reportedly happened on Dec. 2. East St. Louis District 189 confirms Teriona Ford is a personal care aide. The district's website classifies a personal care aide as someone who helps students with special needs with tasks like going to the bathroom, eating their lunch or getting on the school bus.

Ford, just 24 years old, has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery in a public place.

A spokesperson for the State's Attorney couldn't tell 5 On Your Side what prompted the violence.

East St. Louis's District 189 spokesperson declined to answer our questions, saying they don't discuss personnel matters, but said in a statement:

"The safety of our students is our first priority 

Ford, just 24 years old, has been charged with two counts of aggravated battery in a public place.

A spokesperson for the state’s attorney couldn’t tell us what prompted the violence.

An East St. Louis’s School District 189 spokesperson declined to answer our questions, saying they don’t discuss personnel matters.

The district did send a statement that said:

“The safety of our students is our first priority. As we do in all matters of student safety, we responded swiftly and thoroughly, according to our policies and procedures, which were appropriately followed in this instance. We take student matters very seriously and are looking into this isolated incident. However, our school district does not publicly discuss personnel matters."

A court date has not been set.

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