Former Cloverdale teacher acquitted on battery charges

Monday, February 2, 2009

A jury acquitted a former Cloverdale Middle School special education teacher accused of injuring a student in January 2008 late Friday.

The jury heard three days' worth of testimony and deliberated for over six hours before finding Scott W. Porter, 32, not guilty on counts of Class D felony battery resulting in bodily injury and criminal recklessness and Class A misdemeanor battery resulting in bodily injury.

Jury members deliberated well into the night, returning the verdict around 10 p.m.

Porter, who broke down in tears after the verdict was read, called the verdict "nothing short of a miracle."

"I really believe God had a lot to do with it," he said. "I was really expecting a hung jury. The trial went so bad ... I don't like to call people liars, but police officers got on the stand and didn't tell things the way they happened, and the kids they had testify were completely and utterly confused. My attorney had to keep objecting to things, and there was evidence we had that the judge wouldn't allow to be heard."

Porter's case began after one of his students, 15-year-old Jordan Mundy, accused Porter of grabbing him by the shirt, pushing him up against a blackboard, wrestling him to the ground and breaking Mundy's index finger. Court documents said Mundy also told police Porter had put him in a headlock and struck him in the ribs.

A warrant for Porter's arrest was issued Jan. 24, 2008.

Porter's attorney, Jeffrey Boggess, said he had "no complaints" about the verdict.

"I felt like it was a just result," he said. "The state's investigators were very well-meaning, but very over their heads. The investigator kind of got hooked into this boy's story."

Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long said he was not surprised by the verdict.

"We had a bunch of child witnesses, and that made it a very hard case to prove," he said. "The jury made their decision and we have to respect that. We may not agree with it, but we have to respect it."

Boggess said as the case unfolded, witnesses recanted testimony and other evidence suggesting Mundy may have been exaggerating his claims came to light, but the prosecution never took any of those things into consideration.

"The story really never made much sense," Boggess said. "(Mundy) said he was slammed against a blackboard, put in a headlock and wrested to the ground, yet he had no bruises, no scrapes, no marks. He had a splint put on his finger and was given Tylenol."

Porter, who denied all the allegations from the beginning, was initially placed on paid administrative leave by Cloverdale Community Schools, but resigned shortly after the allegations surfaced. He had been a teacher at Cloverdale for eight years.

Porter said he did not feel vindicated by his acquittal, but that he also wasn't angry anymore about what had happened.

"I guess all things happen for a reason, and God doesn't give you anything you can't handle," he said. "All I had was my story -- the truth -- against the stories of police officers, administrators and kids. The jury believed my story against all the others ... I'm glad they could see what the truth was."

Porter has been teaching special education classes in Mooresville since March.

"This really has led me to bigger and better things in the long run," Porter said. "I've been living with this every day for over a year, and now it's gone, it's over with, it's all in the past. That hasn't really sunk in yet."

Porter said he holds no ill will toward the boy who leveled the accusations at him.

"I still think about him everyday," he said. "I know he's had some other problems since this happened, and I kind of feel bad for him."

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  • Congrats to Porter! Its good to see the banner follow up on a story also.

    -- Posted by Hungry&Fat on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 10:57 AM
  • Thank goodness for jury members who realize that accusations made by students are not always the truth. It is so sad that good teachers have lost their jobs because of comments made by children who may or may not perceive things accurately.

    -- Posted by ilovejosie on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 12:01 PM
  • Thank goodness the jury could see through such lies and exaggerated story telling. Congratulations Scott, I and my family are so happy for you.

    -- Posted by lskelton2 on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 12:09 PM
  • congrats, now bring charges against the police officers that told untruths, you know lies, false reporting by a police officer is very serious, well in most cases but look where we're at!

    stand tall the truth is a very powerful tool! (and a little bit of faith goes a long way)

    -- Posted by gottokno on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 1:01 PM
  • Congrats. I am glad there is a happy ending.

    Now sue for slander.

    -- Posted by mal on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 3:12 PM
  • I'm happy for you Scott.

    I do think the police should be held accountable.

    It's not the first time an officer didn't tell things the way it really happened. Under oath at that!!!!!!!

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 4:49 PM
  • Police officers not telling the truth whats new!!!

    -- Posted by 1stamendrights on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 5:19 PM
  • All law enforcement are supposed to be trusted to be factual.Glad the jury took their time and the outcome was fair.I would not want to be a teacher.Sad that they are losing a good teacher.Rough job these days.

    -- Posted by peace2019 on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 6:42 PM
  • Juries do make mistakes. The talk at T's is this happens to be one of those times. My own thinking is why resign if you did not do "anything" wrong.

    -- Posted by gingb2 on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 7:51 PM
  • What is with you losers who always jump on the bandwagon against cops? What about all the others that lied and fabricated their stories? Get a life and worry about your own ignorance and lies you tell all the time. Like writing comments in here and saying stupid things that aren't true. Go stick your head in the ground until you really know what gives.

    -- Posted by magoo55 on Mon, Feb 2, 2009, at 9:42 PM
  • IT IS SO ABOUT THE TIME..........



    FROM THIS....




    -- Posted by takeastand on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 7:37 AM
  • to let everybody know "the talk at T's" has nothing to do with t. white and the designer's den. i dont know who the other "T" is but people might assume it is me and it is not...

    good job scott, i know your a great teacher and most of the kids i come into contact with have nothing but good things to say about you. i am glad things have worked out for the better for u and everyone that surrounds you....good luck!

    -- Posted by badboy46120 on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 8:20 AM
  • Banner Graphic - thank you for keeping us updated on this story.

    Can the community file a class action lawsuit against the parent? Cloverdale lost another great individual because of this.

    In my opinion - it's time to stop tolerating this type of nonsense and being afraid of people who try to intimidate the schools with lawsuits. Our educational system is in dire straights as it is, and it creates a no-win situation for everyone. I also think the school corporation could have done a better job standing behind their employee. Maybe they'll do better with the next employee who is falsely accused.

    From everything I've read, heard, and watched regarding this - it was evident that someone saw opportunity for financial gain with this - threatened the school, drug Mr. Porter through the mud, used the media and anyone who could be hoodwinked into jumping on their bandwagon for this purpose ... they tried to ruin an educator's career because their child couldn't behave in class. How many other students have lost learning-time because of the students behavior? I believe there should be accountability on the parent's part in this fiasco.

    -- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 12:29 PM
  • So where are all the news teams now? Why couldn't they air the outcome of this? They were so quick to race down to our little town to interview right out of the gate and advertise the "corruption". Where are they now that Scott's been cleared and it is now known what falsified allegations were brought to light? Congratulations Scott, we were praying for you. Too bad those kids don't have a chance.....

    -- Posted by lskelton2 on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 3:55 PM
  • It would be nice if the main news channels from Indy and Terre Haute would cover the results of the trial, but the dirt stories sell better ratings than a happy ending story. The only way the trial results would get near the coverage the accusation did would be if there was an unprecedented lawsuit filed by the school or others for slander, defamation of character, loss of valued personnel against those who started this tall tale. Will that happen? I doubt it, but I do think the school needs to start fighting back against the FEW parents who manipulate, fabricate, and threaten the corporation and those employed within the corporation. What does this teach our children - to run and shy away with threats? It's time to stop being so scared of them and their bullish behavior.

    Education systems are in the business of educating children - our children - and many families have pulled their children out of public schools because of the nonsense that has been tolerated for much too long. That in itself is huge loss of revenue for the schools as well as local businesses. It's also a loss of educational opportunity for all the children. Someone needs to total up the amount of revenue being lost and begin taking steps to turn things around. Our country is undergoing a makeover how it operates - why can't the schools follow?

    Porter - glad to see you got through this storm. I know it was a nightmare for you, your family, and those close to you. I hope you have less of a bumpy ride the rest of your teaching career. I don't know you - just remember you from some of the games, and know what the kids and many of the parents have to say about you - all good - they're going to miss you. You're right - God allowed this to happen to you for a reason, and He brought you through it. He definitely has a plan in all of this and will work it for good for those who love Him.

    -- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 5:13 PM
  • To all of you that really don't know JACK. Just remeber they found OJ Simpson not guilty. Yes he did brake the finger and growth plate. Go get the transcripts from court . Remember its public knowledge.

    -- Posted by sadandmad on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 8:13 PM
  • Hey T, if you don't like the comments "gingb" posted about you, contact the Banner.

    I think someone is still living in the past. You know, way back when his kid was cut from the bb team.

    -- Posted by captain crunch on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 4:24 AM
  • I agree with sadandmad. This kid did get the broken bones and there's proof. So, maybe it's a good thing that the major news media didn't cover it. I know as parent of 4 kids, if a teacher had broken a bone on my child, I would have expected the school to remove the teacher. Teachers are NOT allowed to touch the students anymore. No spankings, not anything. So, a broken bone says he did touch the kid. What if this student had been the star of the football team or basketball team, would all you supporters feel the same way? What's up with banner giving the kids name and age in the article? I didn't think they could list things in reference to children under the age of 18.

    -- Posted by ladycubs on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 9:04 AM
  • To ladycubs and sadandmad this kids finger WAS NOT BROKEN!!!It was only fractured!! This is public knowledge so please know the facts first and go to the courthouse and get the true facts.

    I think the jury done a great job! The state didn't have enough proof. I think it is sad what Mr. Porter went through because of one kid that has problems. I wish Mr. Porter the best!! To the kid, grandma and Mom needs to get help!!!


    -- Posted by coltsfan25 on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 9:30 AM
  • Maybe if parents would teach their children respect for teachers and other adults, this may not have happened. The child was probably being unruly "it is a teenager epedimic" and have a tough time. I don't blame the student, sometimes teenagers get confused and do things. I hope the student is doing okay and I am glad to hear that the teacher was able to move on and still benefit schools by being a special education teacher (it truly takes special people to teach these students. Hooray!!

    -- Posted by Taxpayer5253 on Thu, Feb 5, 2009, at 6:28 AM
  • I would first like to thank everyone for all their support, and prayers. This has been a very tough year for me and my family. However, I truly feel that God has brought me through this and he will also led me to bigger and better things in the future. It is very important that we give God all the glory for getting me through this. I know there is alot of you that would like to see me sue over this incident. However, I would like everyone to know that lawsuits and revenge are not for christians. We must remember to forgive, just as God has forgiven all of us. Thanks again for all the support.

    -- Posted by mrporter on Thu, Feb 5, 2009, at 7:56 AM
  • "gingb2" Perhaps Mr. Porter resigned because he felt he had no onter options. Perhaps he was pressured into it by the shcool board. We have a system in the United States that says a man is innocent until proven guilty. A jury of his peers said he was innocent. I want to know why a juvenile's name was published in the paper.

    -- Posted by cloverlady on Thu, Feb 5, 2009, at 8:44 AM
  • Cloverlady - I'm thinking that the student's name was published in the paper because he was on the nightly news on television. I think it was channel 6 who went to his house and interviewed the family. To do that would require parental permission. I think their names have been in the paper since the beginning anyway.

    -- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Thu, Feb 5, 2009, at 10:04 AM
  • Goodluck to you Mr. Porter. I hear you are loved and respected by parents and children. I hope you continue to share your gifts and abilities with those who need you. Myself, I don't have the special abilities or patience teachers must have to be in charge of children who far too often come from abusive or inadequate homes. People such as you, are the best hope for the future of these children. Keep up the good work, and I wish you all the best.

    -- Posted by upstart on Fri, Feb 6, 2009, at 1:48 PM
  • As for the finger: when did it get injured?

    Leaving all conjecture aside makes it a valid question. A thought the jury also had. Evidently.

    -- Posted by reeltime on Sat, Feb 7, 2009, at 5:15 AM
  • magoo you are a fool! The only person on the bandwagon is you! Why don't you go and be an officer so you can make a difference, oh thats right your to busy posting comments along with the rest of us.

    -- Posted by 1stamendrights on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 6:22 AM
  • I am so glad you have finally been found innocent. I remember how many students respected you from subbing in your corporation.Congratulations and may God continue to bless you.

    -- Posted by teacherlady on Tue, Feb 10, 2009, at 9:14 AM
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