Penny Barker (Gaston County Jail file photo)

Special needs teacher in Gaston County accused of assaulting handicapped children

She was a teacher entrusted with special need students...now she's facing some serious charges of assaulting some of those students.

42 year old Penny Barker has taught in the Gaston County school district since 2001. The past five years have been spent at McAdenville Elementary. But one mother, whose identification was kept confidential and spoke with WBTV, and whose son was a student of Barker, began coming home with bruises and displaying erratic behavior.

That's when she started asking questions of the school as to what was going on.

She found out that Barker had been suspended with pay for abusing her son and other students.

According to an arrest warrant, Barker is accused of picking up a child by his ears, causing “a laceration to his lower ear and bleeding.” Another warrant accused her of taking a stuffed animal that had been soaked in cold water and squeezing it over a child’s head.

Barker was arrested and booked into the Gaston County jail where she posted bond and is awaiting her first court appearance.