Special ed teacher accused of spanking student with ruler is suspended, SC board says

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A special education teacher accused of spanking a student with a ruler has had her educator’s certificate suspended, according to the South Carolina Board of Education.

Barbara Lorraine Cherry, who taught at Theodore Lester Elementary School in Florence, South Carolina, is accused of spanking the student in January 2020, according to a suspension order from the board of education.

Florence is about 83 miles east of Columbia.

The Florence School District did not respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News and attempts to reach Cherry were unsuccessful.

Cherry, who often used the ruler to make noise in order to get the students’ attention, used it to spank the student three times after the student got upset over breakfast options offered at the school, the suspension order says.

“Ms. Cherry also used inappropriate language toward the student,” the order says.

Cherry resigned from the school on Jan. 29, 2020, and apologized in a statement to the state board, the order says.

The board considered the matter on May 17, 2022, and voted to suspend her educator’s certificate for two years.

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