Fayetteville, N.C. — A 35-year-old teacher at Brentwood Elementary School in Fayetteville is accused of slapping a student in the face, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said.
Tammy Moore, a second-grade teacher, was served with a misdemeanor criminal summons Thursday morning. She must appear in court in January.
Nicole Brown said her 8-year-old son called her crying while she was at work Oct. 11.
"He was telling me his teacher smacked him in the face because he was bothering another student," Brown said.
Moore told deputies she tapped the child on the left cheek to get his attention so he would sit down and be quiet.School administrators said she has been suspended with pay since the incident. Moore could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Brown said her son's encounter with his teacher has been traumatic.
"He's been having nightmares. He's been acting out of the norm since this happened," she said. "I had to keep him out of school for a couple of days because he was scared to go to school."
Marshall Pitts, an attorney for Brown, said the boy is undergoing counseling.
Moore's case is one of the first to be prosecuted in Cumberland County since the General Assembly passed a law that requires law enforcement agencies get prior written approval before charging a school employee with a crime that occurred as they performed their duties.
General Statute 15A-301 requires that law enforcement agencies get written approval of district attorney's offices or magistrates. The law does not apply to traffic offenses or offenses that occur in the presence of a law enforcement official.
The law, which is meant to curb bullying, was passed in 2012.
District Attorney Billy West said the procedure has always been standard in Cumberland County to offer an extra layer to protect school employees from false accusations.