A 25-year-old teacher has been criminally charged after a teacher aide accused the Texas woman of biting a 4-year-old student with autism on the face, KTXS-TV reported on Wednesday.
Kirsten Joelle Barnett was charged with injury to a child, a third-degree felony. After being arrested on Tuesday, she posted a $5,000 bond as she awaits trial.
The incident allegedly took place on Feb. 1. The aide told law enforcement that Barnett allegedly restrained the student and bit the child on the face near the ear for not complying with her directions.
Barnett has since resigned from her post with Abilene schools. The district released a statement to KTXS:
“When the allegations first came to the school’s attention, administrators acted swiftly to report the incident to the Abilene Police Department. The teacher was immediately placed on leave during the course of the police investigation and has not returned to the classroom or interacted with students again.
"She has subsequently resigned from the Abilene Independent School District. The safety of our students is our top priority, and we are grateful for the immediate reporting by witnesses and for the cooperation from the Abilene Police Department.”
According to a Linkedin profile of Barnett's, she began teaching at the school in 2015. Her profile shows that she was previously a second-grade teacher.