An elementary school teacher in Connecticut has resigned and been arrested after allegedly placing several students in chokeholds during a martial arts demonstration she had no business performing.
Stephanie Sanabria, 50, faces charges including strangulation in the second degree, risk of injury to a minor, and reckless endangerment in the first degree, according to a press release from the Norwalk Police Department.
The fifth-graders were placed in chokeholds while she was working as a math teacher at Brookside Elementary School on Feb. 24, police said.
It was unclear why she had allegedly been showcasing martial arts moves in a math class, but a district spokesperson told Fox News that such moves were not a part of class instruction that day.
Police launched an investigation after a student went unconscious.
“One of the students lost consciousness as a result of Sanabria’s actions,” the press release alleges. “The school nurse immediately treated the child.”
She was arrested Friday.
The school released a statement to various media outlets in the aftermath.
“On Friday, Feb. 24, Norwalk Public Schools notified the Norwalk Police Department of an incident at Brookside Elementary School,” the district said. “With the assistance of the Norwalk Police Department, we determined that a teacher was demonstrating defensive holds to students, and a student fainted during that demonstration. Fortunately, the student did not sustain any permanent injury. Ms. Sanabria has resigned her employment with the Norwalk Public Schools. The safety of our students is our first concern, and we immediately investigated the situation involving Ms. Sanabria when it occurred.”
Parents were shocked.
“It’s scary to think it could have been my child or someone else’s child that I know,” Alicia Farrow told New Haven, Conn.-based ABC affiliate WTNH. “It just kind of goes to show you they should not be putting their hands on kids whatsoever.”
Allison Petrides told the news station the teacher didn’t know what she was doing.
“I mean, if she did, I don’t think she would have intentionally choked them out,” she said. “But she did, so it kind of goes to show you that they should not be putting their hands on the kids whatsoever.”
It was not immediately clear if Sanabria had had an attorney.