Substitute teacher accused of stapling students in Tennessee

CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Officers in Tennessee say a substitute teacher is behind bars after allegations surfaced that she stapled three students at a local elementary school on Monday.

Deputies arrested Alisha Lynn Cook, 34, of Elizabethton, and charged her with three counts of simple assault Tuesday afternoon. According to Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes, the victims were physically stapled by the substitute teacher.

News Channel 11's Mike Lamia interviewed Brandy Gobble, the mother of a Central Elementary School student who said her child was one the students who had staples in their body.

“The principal called to tell me that my daughter wasn't in trouble, but she had been stapled by a teacher,” Gobble said.

The mother says she went to the school to file and affidavit, and she says Carter County Sheriff's deputies came to the school to take a statement.

A school nurse removed staples from the students' arms, according to Gobble.

Gobble's daughter Elizabeth told News Channel 11 the substitute teacher bragged to 6th grade science students about stapling high school students.

“They said, 'I don't believe you,' and then she said, 'Do you want to see?'” Elizabeth said. “I guess they said yes, and then she got the staple and stapled their arm.”

Elizabeth said she was the last of three students to be stapled, pressured by her peers to play along.

“All these classmates said that if you don't do it then you are a 'p-word,'” Elizabeth said. “I don't want to say it.”

Central Elementary is a kindergarten through 8th grade school. Carter County Director of Schools Kevin Ward told News Channel 11 he could not comment on the case because it's an open investigation.

Sheriff Mathes said Cook was booked into the Carter County Jail and placed under a $5,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Carter County General sessions Court on May 13th at 9:00 a.m.

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