Assault charge for Va. middle school teacher accused of holding student up by her ankles

A middle school teacher in Prince William County, Virginia, has been charged with assault and battery after police say he grabbed an 11-year-old student inside a classroom and held her upside-down by her ankles.

Tenkoran Agyeman, 40, who teaches math at Rippon Middle School in Woodbridge, was arrested Dec. 3. The school system said he has been placed on leave.

In a news release, Prince William County police said the girl told them the incident happened sometime on Nov. 1 or Nov. 4 inside a classroom during school hours.

Police said the girl hit her head on a nearby desk while the teacher held her up by her ankles. No injuries were reported at the time.

Police began investigating the alleged incident Nov. 19, after it was first reported.

Agyeman has been with Prince William County Public Schools since September 2010, according to Diana Gulotta, a school spokeswoman.

A Dec. 4 letter sent to parents from Rippon Middle School Principal Scott R. Bergquist said he is “deeply disappointed by this allegation.” Bergquist’s letter said student safety is his top priority and that he expects staff to “act with the utmost professionalism at all time with students.”

The letter added, “As always, I encourage you to speak with your students and should they ever feel unsafe at school, or witness any concerning event they should report it to you or a trusted adult.”

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