CALDWELL, Idaho — Editor's note: Story updated Feb. 23, 2023, with information entered into court records after KTVB posted the original story.
A Caldwell elementary school teacher is facing child abuse charges, following allegations that she hit, spanked, and "forcefully turned the heads" of preschool-aged children in her special education classroom at Lincoln Elementary School, the Caldwell Police Department said.
In a news release Friday night, the Caldwell P.D. said Ada County Sheriff's deputies arrested Kerry Black at her home and was booked into the Ada County Jail. She's charged with 11 misdemeanor counts of injury to a child, and is scheduled to appear in Canyon County court on March 3.
Ada County's online arrest records show Black was booked on an out-of-county warrant -- referring to Canyon County. The Caldwell Police told KTVB that, according to the Ada County Jail roster, she is out of jail. Court records show Black posted a $3,000 surety bond the night of her arrest.
Caldwell Police began investigating Tuesday, Feb. 14, after Lincoln Elementary administrators informed a Caldwell Police school resource officer that they were concerned that Black was abusing children, the police department said. The Caldwell School District placed Black on administrative leave while school officials and detectives investigated. The police department said several aides assigned to the classroom witnessed abuse, including hitting, spanking and forcefully turning children's heads, between Jan. 17 and Feb. 10.
"Through interviews with parents and staff, Caldwell Police determined there was probable cause to believe Ms. Black committed said acts," the police department said in Friday's news release.
Caldwell Police on Thursday, Jan. 16, posted on social media to alert the public about abuse allegations related to a faculty member at Lincoln Elementary, but did not name Black at that time.
After reviewing information from the Caldwell Police investigation, a Canyon County magistrate judge on Friday evening issued a warrant for "the immediate arrest" of Black, the police department said.
As Black is an Ada County resident, the Ada County Sheriff's Office arrested her at her home.
Caldwell School District Superintendent Dr. N Shalene French said in the Caldwell P.D. news release that administrative staff have contacted all the families involved, and that counselors will be available to those families. Black will not be returning to the classroom, she said.
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