Ex-teacher admits battery, sentence suspended

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – A 75-year-old substitute teacher who admitted hitting a special needs student will not serve jail time, according to Allen Superior Court documents.

Jeffrey J. McCracken on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a Level 6 felony of a person under the age of 14 and was immediately sentenced to a year’s suspended sentence, as he agreed with Allen County prosecutors, court documents say.

McCracken had been accused of punching a child diagnosed with Down syndrome when he was substituted on at Carroll Middle School on October 12, 2021.

That morning, the classroom was occupied by students participating in an activity led by a peer leader, court documents said. As McCracken brought a chair for the peer leader, another student climbed onto the chair.

Jeffrey McCracken

This student was picked up by McCracken to remove him from the chair designated for the peer leader. At that moment, the student elbowed McCracken in the ribs, according to court documents.

McCracken is accused of grabbing the victim and punching him in the face, according to court documents.

Several people in the classroom witnessed the slap. In a meeting with the principal, McCracken said in court documents:

“I’m not sure I hit him. I don’t think I did that, but if you call it a slap, it is a slap. I just lost my composure today.”

Under the plea agreement, McCracken will serve one year’s probation and may have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor if he successfully meets all of the conditions prescribed in the agreement.

https://www.wane.com/top-stories/ex-teacher-admits-to-battery-sentence-suspended/ Ex-teacher admits battery, sentence suspended

Dais Johnston

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