Russell set to hear Benson case

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 24, 2005

Greenville Elementary teacher Nancy Benson is set to go before District Judge MacDonald Russell in early October or November on a charge of harassment after allegedly striking a student on the back of the head Aug. 25.

No matter what the final decision is made by the court, Butler County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney said that Nancy Benson's position within the school system is secure.

"We investigated the matter, took appropriate action, and Ms. Benson is back at work focusing on education," Looney said. "From my perspective as superintendent, this matter is closed."

Benson, a third grade teacher at the school, was accused of striking a student on the back of the head while he was drinking from a water fountain by the child's mother, who allegedly witnessed the incident.

Benson was suspended for three working days without pay by Looney but has since returned to work.

"I hope justice comes from it," said Tisha Stoutmire, the student's mother. "If she's found guilty, it's over. It she's found innocent, it won't change the fact of what I saw."

Stoutmire said that she did not want to sue Benson nor the Butler County Board of Education.

"This is not about money," she said. "Money is not going to make a difference."

Stoutmire said she was at the school to pick her child up when she witnessed the alleged incident involving Benson, but that she and her husband had been at the school earlier in the day for a parent-teacher conference because her son and some other other students were involved in an eraser-throwing incident.

Benson said her son has received approximately five or six disciplinary referrals this school year.

"He likes to talk a lot," she said. "I think one of the referrals was when he tripped a child in class.

I have gone to the school at times during the day to check on him and to see how he is doing."

Benson has been a teacher with the Butler County School System since 1989.