CLOSINGS: View Closings

Rome teacher, assistant on leave after excessive discipline accusation

A teacher and a teacher's assistant at John E. Joy Elementary school, in Rome, are charged with misdemeanors for an incident allegedly involving excessive discipline against three special needs elementary students younger than 10 years old.

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 5:15 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 5:40 PM

A teacher and a teacher's assistant at John E. Joy Elementary school, in Rome, are charged with misdemeanors for an incident allegedly involving excessive discipline against three special needs elementary students younger than 10 years old. Teacher Ashley Rasbach, 30, is charged with two counts each of engangering the welfare of a child, a class-A misdemeanor, and 2nd-degree harrassment. Teacher assistant Maria Fountain, 47, one count each.

"There's allegations that a spray bottle was used to discipline the children," said Oneida County Sheriff, Robert Maciol. "There was some pushing alleged."

The alleged incidents happened in April, and came to light when another adult in the school witnessed, then reported, them. The Oneida County Sheriff's Department and District Attorney's Office were notified. Rome City Court issued summonses for Rasbach and Fountain. Police interviewed the students and their parents. Other parents in the district say there are more appropriate ways to discipline children.

"Send them to the office, send them to detention, make them get up and call an aide in and they need to leave the classroom because they're disrupting. So as far as that aspect, I don't feel the teachers had any right whatsoever to be doing something like that," said Elaine Hollenbeck

"As we understand it, the charges, while not condoned by the District and are serious in nature, are merely accusations at this point and both women, like all citizens, are presumed innocent of any criminal offense unless and until proven guilty in a court of law," said Rome School Superintendent, Peter Blake, in a statement. "We intend to take all steps necessary to respect Ms. Rasbach's and Ms. Fountain's rights while, at the same time, taking all prudent steps to ensure the welfare and safety of our students."

Blake added that the two are currently on leave from the district, but did not say whether it is paid or unpaid. Rasbach and Fountain are due in Rome City Court June 29th.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 503176

Reported Deaths: 33444
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens769807294
Kings755177393
Bronx555274991
Nassau498412208
Suffolk491982019
Westchester405541470
New York362243198
Rockland18024683
Richmond173591096
Orange13672505
Erie13161713
Monroe7386300
Dutchess5508163
Onondaga5498207
Albany3660136
Broome362083
Oneida2769128
Ulster253195
Niagara2088101
Putnam182563
Sullivan178648
Chemung17773
Schenectady157950
Saratoga136517
Rensselaer111042
Steuben102557
Chautauqua95513
Columbia72138
Ontario67935
Tioga65330
Tompkins6320
Oswego6314
Madison57017
Cortland5530
Cattaraugus5176
Wayne5125
Greene50718
Warren46133
Orleans41254
Chenango4087
Cayuga4052
St. Lawrence4054
Otsego4045
Genesee3965
Herkimer39410
Fulton36324
Washington33814
Allegany3141
Livingston3138
Montgomery2704
Clinton2485
Jefferson2110
Essex1990
Wyoming1925
Delaware1787
Seneca1473
Schuyler1350
Lewis1340
Yates1267
Schoharie1120
Franklin800
Hamilton170
Unassigned017
Utica
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 38°
Oneonta
Broken Clouds
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 27°
Herkimer
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 23°
Feels Like: 38°
Thendara
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 38°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
VOTE OCTOBER 22-30
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left