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Wake County Teacher Suspended After Parent's Complaint

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A Wake County teacher is off the job and under investigation after a parent says the teacher took classroom discipline too far.

Last Thursday, 5-year-old Avrille Ritchie told his mother that his pre-kindergarten teacher at Fred Smith Elementary School had taken him out to her car, pulled down his pants and whipped him with a belt.

"I'm extremely angry and upset," said Avrille's mother, Ann Holloway.

Holloway says she took her son back to school to confront the teacher, then called the Wake County Sheriff's Office to file a report. A crime scene investigator came out to take pictures.

"He had a bruise on his hip from a belt. He had two lines going across the top of his rear end," Holloway said. "He didn't have those markings before he went to school."

Wake County School System spokesman Michael Evans said the facts in this case may be in question, but school policy is not. No employee, teacher, administrator, assistant principal is to use corporal punishment on a student, he said.

"The teacher in question was removed from the classroom pending the outcome of a confidential employee review," Evans said. "That's the standard operating procedure."

Holloway said she is considering legal action.

Thursday's incident is not Ann Holloway's first with a Wake County school. Holloway told WRAL she has been banned from another elementary school because of a dispute.

The teacher in question is suspended with pay pending the outcome of investigations by the Wake County School System and the Wake County Sheriff's Department.

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