Warren substitute teacher convicted of lesser charge in spanking case

Staff report


A 63-year-old McDonald man was convicted of a reduced charge Thursday in Warren Municipal Court after being accused of assaulting two students while serving as a substitute gym teacher in the Warren City Schools.

John A. Jerome pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was placed on one year of probation.

Police were called to the Willard K-8 building in March and charged Jerome with misdemeanor assault after he purportedly spanked an 8-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl.

School officials said Jerome had been certified to work as a substitute teacher since the 2010-11 school year, but it was unclear how often he had worked in the district.

He will not work as a substitute teacher in Warren schools in the future, and the school district filed a notice Thursday with the Trumbull County Educational Service Center recommending that he not work as a substitute teacher elsewhere in the county, school officials said at the time.

Nick Graham, assistant Warren law director, said there was bruising on one of the children. A videotape of the incident indicated that the gym class had gotten “out of control, and he didn’t handle them properly,” Graham said.

The school district corporal-punishment policy says spanking or hitting by a school-district employee is not permitted. Ohio law outlawed the use of corporal punishment in Ohio public schools in 2009.

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