Sheriff investigating 2nd abuse complaint against Riverdale teac - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Sheriff investigating 2nd abuse complaint against Riverdale teacher

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We continue to follow new developments surrounding the teacher who was caught on tape pushing a student against the wall.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Office is now investigating a complaint against Barb Williams from the family of another student.

Those parents allege their son was physically abused by the same teacher two years ago.

13abc's Christine Long obtained the kindergarten teacher's employment personnel file with Riverdale Local Schools from the district administrative office.

Nowhere in the record of Barb Williams' 14 years as a teacher in the Riverdale Local School District does it mention any issues with the family who filed the new complaint with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office. The only discipline in her file is the suspension letter last month.

After reviewing and investigating the surveillance video that shows Riverdale Elementary School teacher Barb Williams disciplining six-year-old Ian Nelson in May, the district suspended her for ten days without pay. Williams has also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor child endangering charge in Hancock County Municipal Court.

On Tuesday a second Riverdale family released a picture. Bryce and April Blanton say Williams sent it home with their son two years ago. The picture shows Williams looking into the camera and covering her lips with her index finger.

"The Blantons were supposed to show that to their child every night and read the caption to remind him allegedly not to speak out in class," says Dan Margolis, the attorney for the Blanton family.

The Blantons say their son is now eight years old and still a Riverdale student.

Bryce Blanton says back when their son was in Williams' kindergarten class, he and his wife thought something was wrong and took their concerns to the school. But he says nothing came of it.

Blanton says something clicked when his son saw the news reports of Williams grabbing Nelson by the throat. They say last weekend their son disclosed the alleged physical abuse during a regular check-up with his pediatrician.

There is no mention of the Blantons in Williams' district personnel file.

"The Blantons had multiple meetings with the school administration about her," says Margolis. "What they placed in her file is entirely up to the school administration."

According to the records, Williams has received glowing reviews year after year.

In one, the principal writes, "I continue to be impressed with {your} enormous amount of patience for students and difficult parents. You are a pillar of goodness that shines forth a light of love."

In 2002, Williams wrote a letter criticizing a school bus driver who allegedly yelled at her during a field trip. She writes, "I do know that no student, parent, or teacher should ever be verbally attacked like this."

Williams brings up the topic of rules and discipline in an essay titled, "My Philosophy of Education." In the essay, Williams writes about changes in education as they relate to changes in society. She says one change is "...parents who teach their children to question, rather that fear, authority."

The only discipline against Williams in the district file is the suspension letter for using physical force against Nelson in May. According to the superintendent's letter, Williams also yelled: "I am sick of you," "I am sick of your parents," and "I will rip you apart."

Riverdale Local Schools Superintendent Eric Hoffman was not available today to talk to 13abc on Tuesday about the new complaint against Williams. His office says he had a meeting and the morning and took the rest of the day off. Barb Williams' attorney says no comment.

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