ROME – The teacher and teacher’s assistant who are accused of using excessive discipline on students at John E. Joy Elementary School in Rome have been offered plea deals.
Thirty-year-old Ashley Rasbach of Rome is a special needs teacher at the elementary school and her teacher’s assistant is 47-year-old Maria Fountain of Rome. Back in June, Rasbach was charged with two counts each of endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment, while Fountain was charged with one count of both.
In Rome City Court on Friday, the two women were offered plea deals to plead guilty to a lesser charge of acting in a manner injurious to a child. Rasbach’s attorney told the judge that the deal is not acceptable, but she did not reject it. She is due back in court on Aug. 15 for motions.
Fountain rejected the offer and has requested a bench trial. She is due back in court on Sept. 26.
According to court documents, Rasbach is accused of grabbing a student by the hair and spraying a student with a water bottle. In another incident, she is accused of squeezing a student between an open door and the wall, then picking up that same student and dropping her onto the floor.
Fountain is accused of grabbing a student by her arms and slamming them onto the table.
All three of the alleged victims are special needs students under 10 years old.