Grace Elementary School

Grace Elementary School in the city of Grace.

UPDATE

Here's a statement from the Caribou County Sheriff's Office regarding this case: The Caribou County Sheriff’s Office was recently asked to investigate an incident at the Grace Elementary School involving a teacher, teacher’s aide and student. The source(s) providing media with information have provided incorrect information and as such this press release is to correct this. During the preliminary investigation, the investigator learned that a teacher and the teacher’s aide became involved in an argument. The student was in close proximity when this occurred. The teacher moved the student out from between the two while the argument ensued. The teacher did not strike the student, the student did not sustain any type of significant injury and certainly did not require medical attention or transport to a medical facility. The student told the investigator that they felt the reason the teacher moved them out of the way was to protect them. This incident remains under investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY

GRACE — A Grace Elementary School teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave after allegedly using physical force against a student last month at the school.

When contacted about the allegations, Grace School District Superintendent Jamie Holyoak declined to comment on the specifics of the incident citing the district’s policy against discussing personnel matters. Holyoak did confirm that the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave while a Caribou County Sheriff’s Office investigation is being conducted into the allegations against her.

“A detective (with the Caribou County Sheriff’s Office) was sent to evaluate the student and the incident is currently under investigation,” Holyoak said. “It’s a personnel matter, but I can tell you that we followed the policy outlined in handling any of those type of allegations.”

The Caribou County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it is investigating the incident involving the Grace Elementary School teacher but declined to comment further. The school is located within the city of Grace, a community of about 920 people located near Soda Springs.

Neither the Grace School District nor the Sheriff’s Office would confirm the accused teacher’s identity.

Apparently in a show of support for the accused teacher, the Grace School District posted a district policy statement to its Facebook page on Tuesday at the request of the district’s school board. The statement read, “The board will support, protect and aid any school employee who suffers written, verbal or physical abuse by a student, parent, guardian or other person while acting within the course and scope of his or her employment and within the scope of the district’s policies.”

The parents of the child who was the alleged victim in this case have not returned the Journal’s phone calls.

Other Grace Elementary School parents talked with the Journal last week regarding their concerns over the incident.

Amber Noble, the parent of a child in the same class as the alleged victim, said she does not believe the alleged victim suffered injuries that required hospitalization. Noble also said she does not know what might have prefaced the alleged physical force incident.

Reporter Shelbie Harris can be reached at 208-239-3525. Follow him on Twitter: @shelbietharris.