Teacher charged for pulling chair out from under autistic student, police say

Denise Woods, 53, was arrested after she pulled a chair out from under a student, according to court documents. (Source: WAFF)
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 6:48 PM CDT
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COLBERT CO., Ala. (WAFF/Gray News) - An Alabama high school teacher was arrested for abusing a 19-year-old autistic student at school, according to authorities.

Police said 53-year-old Denise Woods, a teacher at Colbert County High School, was arrested and charged with pulling a chair out from under a student.

WAFF reports the student was sitting at a table in the school lunchroom on March 7 when she heard someone mention ice cream. The student then began to yell for ice cream but was told ice cream was not being served.

The student then reportedly began hitting her arms against the table. According to documents obtained by WAFF, Woods approached the student to try to calm her down and pulled the student’s chair out from under her, causing her to fall.

When she got up, Woods reportedly escorted her out of the lunchroom while pushing her.

A parent of the student said she had bruises on her arms, legs, thighs, hips, back, wrist and elbow from the experience.

Officials said Woods was charged with the intentional abuse or neglect of a protected person. She was taken to jail before being released on a $10,000 bond.