A former Grant County special education teacher is facing a criminal abuse trial on December 8 following allegations she twisted an elementary student’s ears to make him do work.
Other teachers saw Abigail Schlagel twist the child’s ears as she worked with him, court records said.
“Ms. Schlagel has not worked for the district since December 5, 2022,” Grant County Superintendent Matt Morgan told the Herald-Leader. “The district does not have a comment due to the upcoming criminal trial and unemployment appeal.”
Schlagel was indicted by a Grant County grand jury July 12, 2023, on one count of third degree criminal abuse, a Class A misdemeanor, court records said.
A Sherman Elementary school teacher said on Dec. 1, 2022, she watched Schlagel twist the child’s ear until he was yelling, “my ear, my ear.”
The child had a history of ear surgeries and infections prior to the incident, court records said.
The criminal file included photos of the child’s bright red ears and investigator notes in which Schlagel said she had pulled his ears a couple of times when he wouldn’t do his work. She acknowledged that it was “abusive.” She said she would lessen the twisting when he cried and again ask him to work, according to the documents.
Schlagel said she had not pulled the ears of other children, according to the documents.
A defense attorney listed in court documents could not immediately be reached for comment.