Charges dropped against Baker teacher, but lawyer says it's not over

Published: Mar. 21, 2014 at 9:19 PM CDT
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Deborah Anderson and her attorneys
Deborah Anderson and her attorneys

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - "I am not going to allow this teacher to be prosecuted," says Baker City Attorney Ken Fabre.

Fabre says since Tuesday he and a team of prosecutors have been reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Baker Middle School Teacher Deborah Anderson. A student accused her of jerking him by his shirt because it was not tucked in. Anderson was taken to prison and booked on battery. One week later, Fabre says there simply wasn't enough evidence the teacher had committed a crime.

"I was eating lunch and one of my co-workers called me in the office and said good news, good news," Anderson says.

A relieved Anderson, who returned to the classroom this week, says she had never been so humiliated. Still, she says she stands by her actions.

"Looking back would you have handled this situation any differently?" she was asked. She replied 'no. no I would not have.'"

Anderson's attorney, Yigal Bander, says under Louisiana law teachers have the same rights as parents to exercise reasonable discipline of a student. He says Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps' failed to look at the facts and mishandled the situation.

"Having gotten it so wrong and having maintained until yesterday at least that he didn't do anything wrong and following protocol, I think he needs to do some very serious thinking," Bander says.

Chief Knaps responded to the city prosecutor's decision with the following statement -- "I fully trust in the system and if that's what they want to do we support it 100 percent."

That being said, Anderson and her attorney say they likely won't walk away quietly.

"We can't just sit here and pretend it didn't happen. It sends a bad message to teachers everywhere. It needs to be addressed."

The student's mother told WAFB over the phone that she is fine with the outcome. She says she just wanted the alleged incident investigated and she's happy it has been.

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