Teacher faces charges of assaulting special education students

A Bon Lin Elementary School special education teacher has been charged with assaulting and abusing some of her students.



Clancy Patterson, 39, of Arlington, was arrested Aug. 2 after being indicted on two counts of child abuse, five counts of simple assault and seven counts each of official oppression and official misconduct, according to Shelby County Court documents and a statement by the Bartlett Police Department.

Although the Bartlett police did not arrest Patterson, whose first name is spelled “Clancy” and “Clancey” in different documents, the indictments are a result of investigations conducted by the city’s department as well as the Department of Children’s Services.

“It was an intensive investigation,” said Capt. Marlon Jones, the spokesman of the Bartlett Police Department. “The allegations involved several children.”

Jones also said in the release that additional information could not be shared because, “This case is very serious, sensitive in nature and has not been fully adjudicated so any other release of information could jeopardize the case.”

Shawn Patchuki, a spokesman for the Shelby County School District, said Patterson has been on paid suspension since April 5.

“There’s no immediate change in her status since the arrest,” he said Monday.

According to the charging documents from the Bartlett police, Patterson allegedly slammed one 3-year-old boy to the ground on his bottom “causing him to scream and cry,” and hard enough that his shoe came off. In other incidents involving the same child, police said Patterson used her foot to push his hand to the ground when he raised it to answer a question and refused to give him a snack because he would not say the word “food.” The report indicates that Patterson was aware that child had delayed speech and could not say the word.

In another case, police say Patterson repeatedly pushed and shoved a 4-year-old girl to the ground.

The reports indicate the the incidents in question occurred between December 2012 and April. The mother of the 3-year-old said she was unaware her child may have been abused until Bon Lin principal Kassandra Berry asked her on April 10 if she had been contacted by the Department of Children’s Services. The parent then learned that the department already had been in contact with two teacher’s assistants, who provided testimony to the department regarding the alleged abuse. Berry then provided the parent with a copy of the transcripts of those conversations, which have not been released but were made part of the Bartlett Police Department’s reports.

The mother of the 4-year-old also said that she was unaware of allegations of abuse until the Department of Children Services called her on April 5. According to police, the parent also said she learned that the assistants had complained about Patterson “since before Christmas (2012) without success.”

Berry declined comment Monday. She referred all comments to Patchuki.

Patchuki said that Patterson has been a special education preschool teacher with Bon Lin since Aug. 11, 1997. He also said he was unsure what kind of disabilities the children in Patterson’s class may have had.

Patterson was held in the Shelby County Jail following an arraignment. She was released Aug. 3 after posting $10,000 bond. No information regarding a future court date or if she had retained an attorney were immediately available.