Special Needs Teacher At McAdenville Elementary Charged With Assaulting Student

CRAMERTON, NC — A special needs teacher at McAdenville Elementary is charged with two counts of assault on a child under 12 and two counts of assault on a handicapped person.

According to officials, Penny Barker, 42, of Gastonia was arrested for crimes said to have occurred between October 1, 2016 and February 4, 2017. Barker has been placed under a $10,000 secured bond, and police say there could be more charges as the investigation continues.

Barker has been employed by Gaston County Schools since July 2001. During that time, Gaston County Schools officials say Barker has served as a Teacher of Exceptional Children at Lingerfeldt Elementary (7/2001-6/2007), Gardner Park Elementary (7/2007-6/2012), and McAdenville Elementary (7/2012-present).

School officials say Barker has been suspended with pay until further notice.