LINWOOD — A longtime music teacher at Belhaven Middle School has been suspended with pay following an alleged assault on a student.

According to a police report obtained by The Press of Atlantic City, Kimberley Peschi, 40, of Galloway Township, walked behind a student who was seated in a chair and used her left leg to pull the chair backward, causing the student to hit his head on the floor. The incident reportedly happened Feb. 9.

Peschi referred calls to her attorney, Dean Wittman, who could not be reached for comment. Peschi has worked in the Linwood school district since 1999. She also teaches a yoga class there as part of the school’s Explorations program.

According to the police report, there were eyewitnesses and video of the incident. Peschi was charged Feb. 15 with cruelty and neglect of children and simple assault.

Interim Superintendent Michelle Cappelluti confirmed Tuesday that Peschi was suspended and further action may be taken.

“Our chief concern as a school district is that our students receive the education they are entitled to in a safe and supportive learning environment,” she said in a statement. “And while we do not in general discuss personnel matters publicly, the staff member you asked about is presently suspended with pay pursuant to the law.”


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