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Middle School Teacher Arrested Following Altercation with Student

Susan Lawrence, 64, charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Northport Middle School. Credit: File Photo
Northport Middle School. Credit: File Photo
A Northport Middle School teacher was arrested Tuesday following an altercation with a student, according to Suffolk County Police.

Susan Lawrence, 64, of East Northport was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child after she allegedly grabbed and pulled a female student on the arm and yelled at her.

The incident occurred on Thursday at 8:20 a.m. as the student was getting off of a school bus at Northport Middle School.

A statement from the Northport-East Northport School District states that the district conducted a thorough investigation, consulted with counsel, contacted the Suffolk County Police Department, and the New York State Department of Education concerning the incident.

Lawrence has been reassigned to home pending further investigation.

Superintendent Marylou McDermott and Northport Middle School Principal Timothy Hoss were not available for comment.

MJS May 03, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Kathy, well said!
LotsToSay May 03, 2013 at 06:30 PM
Yes, 2 sides to every story... And it's really nice, Chris, that you have perfect children! I'd love to have a sip of the water you and your family drink! In reality, Ms. Lawrence , (isn't she a Teacher Assistant?) is the real victim. The amount of responsibility vs. reward (salary, breaks, etc.) given to the Teacher Assistants and Teacher Aides is horrendous. They're not trained as Special Ed teachers, but must use the training they receive to do the best job they can, all day every day, from the bus arrivals in the morning, until the bus departures in the afternoon. In some cases this includes taking the child to the bathroom, for which they receive an extra stipend at the end of the year. In most cases, it includes socializing, disciplining, organizing, helping with writing,keeping on task, teaching. In some cases, it involves carrying backpacks, helping with coats and clothing, and assisting the child in getting from point "a" to point "b". It's not easy. In most cases the Teaching Assistants and Aides go above and beyond the call of duty. The accountability on the part of the school district is horrendous. Most of the time when a faculty member or other employee sees a special needs child with an aide or TA, they leave the bulk of the responsibility, including teaching, sometimes even talking, to that person. As far as sending kids to the principal, that's a joke! Do you think the principal is sitting around waiting for kids? They are overburdened as well. The day NMS got rid of Tom Fazio's position (after he chose early retirement) as a counselor in the "time out room" was the biggest mistake this district has made as far as cuts. Too many kids with problems, no place to go. What a shame!! NMS used to have such a wonderful reputation, and our kids are falling through the cracks, while the teachers get blamed. So open your eyes, people! Wake up! These are your tax dollars at work. Pay attention, vote, be active, have a say in what goes on in our town. Put the blame where it should be!! (Also, did the child have any breakfast?)
Amy Waldhauer May 04, 2013 at 06:45 AM
LotsToSay: I am glad your clarified that Mrs. Lawrence is an aide. When my son was in 7th grade at NMS he was attacked by the same 4 boys every day for a month as he walked from the building to the bus. No one stopped the attacks because there were no aides to do so. I am sure that Mrs. Lawrence was overworked and underpaid.
Pat Morano May 05, 2013 at 10:37 AM
I have to agree with most of the comments made here. Of course, there is always 2 sides to a story. The problem is that the only story or conclusion that always wins is the side of the school administration. I have lived in this town for 40 years, worked in the school district for almost 20 years as a Teacher Aide. My children went through the Northport School system. I have witnessed a change in this district in the past few years and not a good change. I know that this was not entirely Mrs. Lawrence's fault. This child is a child with many challenges. The Teacher aides and Teacher Assistants do their best with the limited amount of training that they have. They are left with the children that they are assigned to and expected to teach, discipline, toilet( if needed) and keep them safe and sometimes watch out for the safety of the other children. It is a fact that a child should not be abused for any reason, but I am sure that her case will not prevail in her favor. How did the parents react act to this arrest? Usually the parents of these children have a relationship with the aide or the assistant. At one time the administrators would value the opinion of their teachers and the staff but I have witnessed so many injustices over the past few years, it is very sad. I hope that this case is resolved, get the parents involved. If Mrs. Lawrence is not vindicated, who would want to do her job? She will always be looking over her shoulder.

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