February 10, 12—By Dan Belson — [email protected]
PUBLISHED: February 12, 2024 at 11:43 a.m. | UPDATE: February 12, 2024 at 4:07 p.m.
A former paraeducator was sentenced to a year of probation after being convicted of an assault charge alleging she hit a student during a dance class in September at Mt. Hebron High School.
Annette Melvina Bouldin, 65, was also ordered not to seek employment with minors or people with disabilities during a one-year probationary period after entering an Alford plea Feb. 2 to a misdemeanor charge of aggression. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt — Bouldin has not admitted to intentionally hitting the student — but an acceptance that prosecutors have enough evidence to secure a conviction. This carries the same weight as a guilty plea.
Howard County prosecutors said Bouldin, who was attending an academic life skills class in which students with disabilities were paired with their peers, was helping a student with a new dance move on Sept. 5 of last year when the student punched Bouldin in the eye. Bouldin then “took a few seconds to think” before walking toward the student and punching him, prosecutors said. The student, who was nonverbal, was taken to the Ellicott City school nurse for a bump on his forehead and returned to class.
Bouldin, who had been a paraeducator for more than 23 years, said in court that she would never intentionally hit a student and that any contact that day, if any, was “incidental and in context to prevent any contact with other students. said attorney Thomas Morrow.
“She sincerely regrets the incident and recently retired,” he said.
— Click to share on Facebook (Opens in a new window)
— Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)