ASD Superintendent talks about alleged abuse by teacher at Ptarmigan

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — An Anchorage mother says her autistic son was pushed into a wall with enough force to cause bruising , and that the alleged pusher was a Ptarmigan Elementary School teacher.

Katherine Armon, the student's mother, filed a complaint with Anchorage Police in early May, accusing Ptarmigan Elementary Teacher Lynn Sherwood of pushing Armon's 9-year-old son Austin into a wall, causing bruising to his back and head.

The complaint describes video footage reviewed by police, showing Sherwood escorting what's described as an agitated Armon through the school, swinging his arms towards Sherwood and pulling away from her.

The officer said the video shows Sherwood pushing him into a wall and then continuing down the hallway before pushing him again into a door.

A pediatrician cited in the criminal complaint said that injuries would make sense coming from an adult pushing a child into a wall.

ASD Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop spoke with KTUU on Friday about the incident, saying the teacher's actions were unacceptable and inappropriate.

"The incident was way out of bounds from what is expected anywhere, so we talk about these things, we share them and we offer support to principals and schools if they need additional training for teachers but we do have policies and training in regard to management of classrooms as well as students who may have outbursts," Bishop said.

Bishop says the school district is fully cooperating with APD and working with the family to provide additional services including counseling, and that the teacher is currently on administrative leave.

Sherwood is due in court on Monday for a pretrial hearing on a single count of child abuse.

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