A Rock Hill elementary school teacher is out of the classroom following allegations he grabbed a 9-year-old girl hard enough to cause bruising. It's also not the first time police have investigated this teacher.
Daniel Johns, 35, turned himself in Thursday to Rock Hill police, and was charged with third-degree assault and battery. Police said Johns was watching children before school Wednesday in the hallway at Rosewood Elementary, when the 9-year-old girl would not follow his instructions. Johns told police that he repeatedly told the girl to open a book and read while she sat there waiting for school to start, but she refused.
Police said Johns grabbed her by the arm, pulled her up and into a classroom. The girl reported the incident a few hours later.
"If it's true, I think he should lose his job, definitely," said Sherri Price, a parent of another third-grader at Rosewood Elementary. "That's unbelievable. My daughter says she likes him. He's a good teacher."
Parent Nick Vecellio said he hopes the charges are false.
"We just don't have enough information yet to know what really happened," Vecellio said. "But I will say if my son came home with bruises on his arm, I'd be, oh my God, uncontrollably upset."
In 2006, Channel 9 covered a story also involving Johns. A Rock Hill police report alleged that Johns used an unusual method to try and discipline a bully in his second-grade class at Rosewood. Police said a bully was stomping on the feet of other children, and to teach him a lesson Johns lined up the students in his class and had them take turns stomping on the boy's feet.
Johns was put on leave, but did not face criminal charges. On Thursday, school district spokeswoman Elaine Baker said that incident was recorded in Johns' personnel file on his permanent record. He continued teaching, and now teaches third grade.
Vecellio remembered that 2006 incident, and said it doesn't make sense.
"Just being involved in the first incident, he probably should have known better," he said. "He's not making good decisions."
Channel 9 went to Johns' home to ask him about the alleged assault on the 9-year-old. He did not want to speak on camera but said he hopes this is all behind him soon.
"I really hope this is all resolved quickly, because my children need me back in the classroom," Johns said. "We have spring break, then tests coming up. It's important for me to be there."
Johns said he has made statements to school officials and police and would not answer specific questions about the alleged incident.
He is out of jail on a personal recognizance bond and on leave during the police investigation.
The school district sent out an automated call Wednesday night to the more than 500 parents of Rosewood Elementary students. Baker said several called Thursday with questions about what happened.
Rock Hill schools at all levels begin their spring break Friday.