SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A 57-year-old teacher from Sandy, Utah is facing a felony charge of abuse or neglect of a disabled child after police say she hit a 7-year-old “significantly disabled” student in the back of the head three times back in February.
According to a probable cause statement, Cindy Bell was a special needs teacher at Silver Hills Elementary in West Valley City, Utah on February 16, 2021.
Police say that’s when a behavioral aid had gone into Bell’s classroom, and could tell that bell was “upset and annoyed.”
The aid said she tried to help Bell keep the kids on task, but they were having a difficult time paying attention, as it was the end of the day.
At this time, Bell was reading a story to the children, who were sitting on the floor. Bell asked a different aid to take over reading duties and as Bell was walking through the students, she tripped and fell over the 7-year-old victim.
Bell, “visible frustrated,” got up and went to her desk. Another student began to mimic Bell by falling onto the other students.
The behavioral aid said she tried to help get the students under control, but that Bell yelled at her and said that she “would take care of it.”
The aid sat down and looked over at Bell’s desk, where she saw the 7-year-old boy on his knees. The aid said she saw Bell hit the child on the back of the head three times saying “boom, boom, boom.”
The boy, who has limited verbal capacity, began to cry and said: “you hit me, you hit me!”
2News reached out to Granite School District, and spokesperson Ben Horsley gave us this statement:
Cindy Bell was placed on administrative leave on February 17th, after a very serious allegation of striking a student came to our attention. Both an administrative and criminal investigation proceeded. Cindy Bell resigned her teaching position on April 5, 2021 and is no longer employed by Granite school District.”