BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - District Attorney prosecutor Tony Clayton said he will not be pursuing criminal charges against a West Baton Rouge teacher.
Melissa Blank was arrested a few weeks ago after she was accused of grabbing an elementary student. She was transferred to another school.
It reportedly happened on February 7, 2018 while Blank worked at Brusly Elementary School.
According to police records, the Brusly Police Department arrested Blank after she allegedly pushed the student against a closet, demanding the child "pick up her things."
According to an affidavit, Blank allegedly grabbed the child by the neck with one hand and squeezed her upper arm with the other while holding the student against the closet doors.
"We looked at cruelty to a juvenile. It just does not rise to that level of criminal conduct. The charge that gave me as well as the mother the most problems, was the charge of simple battery. I had to make the determination as to whether or not to expose this teacher to six months in jail because she grabbed the student by the jaw. Although it's conduct I would not have done, it just doesn't rise to the level of exposing her to jail time, said Clayton,
She is also accused of false imprisonment for allegedly blocking the door with chairs, preventing anyone from leaving the classroom.
"A teacher who puts a desk behind a door, charged with false imprisonment is equivalent to, in my opinion, if a teacher tells a student he can't go out to recess and he should stay in the class, said Clayton. He tells 9News those charges were dead on arrival.
The West Baton Rouge Parish School System superintendent confirmed the teacher now works for Lukeville Elementary School.
Following the DA's announcement to not pursue charges against Blank, she released the following response: