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PD: Phoenix special needs teacher accused of assaulting student

Phoenix Police
Posted at 2:11 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 21:03:31-05

PHOENIX — A Phoenix teacher has been charged with assaulting a special needs student after allegedly putting a pencil down the back of the boy's pants.

On February 22, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office charged 56-year-old Victoria Biddle Martin with aggravated assault.

Martin is accused of inserting a pencil into the "butt crack" of a preteen special needs student.

The assault reportedly occurred last November in the library of Justine Spitalny Elementary School near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road.

Phoenix police became aware of the allegation in December.

The school librarian reported to police that she was reading to the students, when Martin stuck the eraser end of a pencil down the back of the boy's pants, touching his buttock area.

The librarian told police that she realized what had happened after Martin did it a second time as the student was standing at the library counter.

Martin allegedly told police that the student's "butt crack" was showing and she "put her pencil in there." She called the incident an error in judgment.

In a letter to parents sent on Wednesday, the Cartwright School District did not describe Martin's action in any detail, referring to it only as "an incident that occurred at Justine Spitalny Elementary surrounding a teacher in which police were involved."

The district said it could not address the issue any further, citing a human resources "matter."

"The safety of our children is paramount and we have systems in place to protect students at all times while they are in our care," interim superintendent Dr. LeeAnn Lawlor wrote in the letter.

Martin has been a special needs teacher in the district for four years.

She is expected to appear in court on March 22 to face a charge of aggravated assault.

Full letter from district:

February 27, 2019

Dear Parent/Guardian,

This letters serves to inform you of an incident that occurred at Justine Spitalny Elementary surrounding a teacher in which police were involved. While we cannot specifically address the issue due to a Human Resources matter, we want you to know that we value each and every student in the Cartwright School District. The safety of our children is paramount and we have systems in place to protect our students at all times while they are in our care.
We always follow proper procedures while keeping our student’s interests in mind every step of the way. If you have further questions, please direct them to Principal Janet Hecht.

Sincerely,

Dr. LeeAnn Aguilar Lawlor
Interim Superintendent