A Cloverdale Middle School teacher is now without a job and facing accusations that he broke a student's hand during an altercation in the classroom.
Special education teacher Scott W. Porter, 31, is accused of grabbing 15-year-old Jordan Mundy by the shirt and wrestling him to the ground, somehow breaking the student's index finger and possibly causing permanent damage to his hand.
The alleged incident occurred shortly after the start of school on Jan. 11, during an anger management class that Porter was teaching to emotionally disabled children at the middle school.
The student's mother, Michelle Britton of Cloverdale, told the BannerGraphic that her son and another boy were making fun of the teacher's height and that the teacher became upset and challenged the boys to "come up there and say it to his face."
When the two students approached the teacher at his desk and then tried to run away, the teacher allegedly grabbed Mundy and held him on the ground in a wrestling lock, Britton said.
Putnam County Prosecutor's Investigator Charles Bollinger said he interviewed the other students that were in the classroom that day and they told him the teacher had Mundy in a headlock on the floor.
Once on the floor, Bollinger said, the teacher told Mundy that if he didn't give up, or "tag out," that "something was going to break."
The student's mother told the BannerGraphic the teacher allegedly tried to cover up the incident by telling her son not to go to the nurse's office. Mundy told his mom the teacher put a splint on his hand, gave him some ice and sent him on to the next class.
Several hours later, Mundy did go to the nurse's office and his grandmother was called to take him to the hospital where the break was confirmed, Britton said.
On Tuesday, she said her son has since had to step off the basketball team and has made several return trips to the doctor's office for treatment of his hand.
In the meantime, the prosecutor's office is still waiting on the results of a medical exam on Mundy's hand to determine if the growth plate in his hand is actually broken. If permanent damage was done, Bollinger said it could mean the difference between a misdemeanor battery charge being filed against the teacher and a felony charge.
"We're trying to figure out if this was horseplay or if the teacher became upset and used too much force," Bollinger said.
Middle School Principal Jeff Brookshire told the BannerGraphic Tuesday that the teacher was initially placed on paid administrative leave, during the investigation, but that he has since resigned from his position. He was an eight-year veteran of the school.
"We felt that it was in everybody's best interest that Mr. Porter was relieved of his duties," Brookshire said.
Mundy's mother says she is in the process of obtaining an attorney and plans to sue the teacher.
"The teacher is the one the students are supposed to trust," she said. "Another thing is Mr. Porter was my son's favorite teacher. He's gonna wish he never broke my kid's finger," she said.
Attempts to reach Porter for comment were unsuccessful and there was no listing for him in the phone book.