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Teacher Charged With Choking 9 Students; Released On Bond | News

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Teacher Charged With Choking 9 Students; Released On Bond
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SILVER SPRING, Md. (WUSA) -- An elementary school teacher has been charged with kicking, punching, scratching and even choking students in her first grade class, Montgomery County Police said.  Wednesday, she was released on $75,000 bond.

Susan Lee Burke, of Laurel, Md., a teacher at Greencastle Elementary School in Silver Spring, is accused of assaulting 9 of the 16 children  in her first grade class.  

"Yes, it's assault. He's only 6-years-old," said the sister of one alleged victims. "Why would you choke a 6-year-old?"

Detectives said a 7 year old boy reported the alleged assault back in January.  Police say eight victims reported that the events happened at school during school hours between December 1 and December 31, 2010. Police also say a victim reported an incident taking place in March 2010 at school during the school day.

A Montgomery County Public School spokesperson said Burke was removed from the classroom when the allegations surfaced in January.  She was placed on administrative leave.  A letter was sent home to all Greencastle parents.  Counseling will be made available to any students or parents who need it.

Burke spent most of her 10 year career teaching kindergarten and first grade at Meadow Hall Elementary School in Rockville before voluntarily transferring to Greencastle.

Burke was arrested for nine counts of second-degree assault on a minor and was held in Montgomery County Jail.

Neighbors who live across the street from Burke in Laurel told 9NEWS NOW on Tuesday they weren't surprised to hear of her arrest. They said police have been called her house several times for domestic disturbances. 

A court date is scheduled for her on March 29 at 8:30 a.m. at the Rockville District Court.

Detectives are following "specific leads" and continuing to interview children.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the alleged, inappropriate contact between Burke and a minor is asked to contact the Family Crimes Division at 240-773-5400. Callers may remain anonymous.

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