PYE substitute teacher charged with striking 1st grader

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

PENN YAN – Following an incident  and an investigation at Penn Yan Elementary School, a substitute teacher has been arrested and removed from the substitute teacher roll.

Mary Anne Cooper, 56, of Dundee, was arrested May 13 by Penn Yan Police on misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child and 2nd degree harassment following an incident at at 9 a.m. May 6 in the school.  Police say Cooper was substitute teaching when she allegedly struck a 1st grade child.  

The child reported the incident to another adult at the end of day. School officials then reviewed video footage of the incident and contacted police.  Cooper was removed from the substitute list and no other children appeared to have been in danger. Cooper was issued appearance tickets for Penn Yan Village Court at a later date.

Following the police report, Howard Dennis, Penn Yan Superintendent of Schools, issued to a press release:

"Earlier today, the Penn Yan Police Department issued a press release concerning an incident involving a substitute teacher and student at PYE. As soon as the District Administration was made aware, the following actions were taken:

• The District contacted the School Resource Officer and began to work collaboratively with the Penn Yan Police Department

• The individual was immediately removed from the classroom

• The individual was immediately removed from the substitute roster and all further scheduled positions.

"Our number one priority remains the safety of all our students. We will continue to work in partnership with you and the Penn Yan Police Department to create a safe instructional environment, which promotes learning."