A Monroe teacher stands accused of felony abuse of juveniles.
Melissa Brooks Lacomb, 49, of West Monroe, was arrested Wednesday. She was charged with two felony counts of cruelty to juveniles.
According to an arrest affidavit, Monroe Police Department responded to Madison James Foster Elementary on Oct. 4. Principal Jennifer Harris said Antiquel Harris, a paraprofessional, contacted her the night before and said she’s witnessed Lacomb inappropriately discipline two students.
One allegation was that she hit a 4-year-old student with autism on his right thigh with a ruler.
On Oct. 9, Antiquel Harris said in an interview with an MPD detective that she saw the event happen and tried to record it. She said she submitted a statement to the principal, who provided a copy of that statement for the investigation.
The second allegation was that Lacomb put another 4-year-old male student with autism in a bathroom that adjoins classrooms and closed the door for 30 minutes as punishment. He reportedly was left unattended but was heard screaming and crying.
Antiquel Harris provided MPD with a recorded statement on Oct. 9 about that incident as well.
Students with specific disabilities are exempt from corporal punishment, under school district guidelines.
Bond for one count was set at $5,000 and bond for the second was set at $2,500.
Monroe City Schools Superintendent Brent Vidrine said the district takes all allegations of violence against students seriously and immediately reports to the Monroe Police Department. He said Lacomb is on leave pending the investigation.
July: Charges dropped against teacher accused of striking student in 2016