Case closed after AISD teacher accused of hitting child

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The case against a former Austin ISD elementary school teacher, who was arrested on a charge of injury to a child, has been dismissed. According to Travis County court records, the case against Joseph Melvin was dismissed on April 20, 2018, pending further investigation.

In addition, the Texas Education Agency also confirms the investigative warning was recently removed from Melvin’s certificate and his case was administratively closed.

Melvin tells KXAN News he is working to formally expunge his record, and an assistant district attorney has already signed the state’s recommendation of early expunction. 

The Pecan Springs Elementary School teacher was arrested May 2017. The principal said at that time Melvin had been on administrative leave since they received a report of the incident in November 2016.

Two years after the incident, Melvin says he wants to set the record straight. 

“I understand how protective you want to be over your child, I would be the same way. But I did not hit your son,” Melvin said. “I would never hit him or any child out of anger.” 

Melvin said the incident was a huge misunderstanding that took place at a Thanksgiving class party. 

“One student started wrestling with his friend, and I called his name to get his attention to ask him to stop and he didn’t hear me. So, I reached over and tapped on the first part I could reach, which happened to be his head. I tapped him on the head and got his attention. He looked at me and I said, ‘Please stop wrestling,'” Melvin explained. “I didn’t want them to push the projector on other students and he said, ‘Ok,’ and turned around and immediately returned to dancing. There was no issues.”

The mother of the young boy involved in the incident says a teacher saw Melvin hit her son with his fist on the top of his head. She said it wasn’t clear why the teacher hit her son.

Melvin says he wants nothing more than to return to the classroom where he believes he belongs. 

“It’s still keeping me from realizing what I should be doing, which is working with young, challenging students. It’s what I do best and it’s what I should be doing.” 

In order for the case to be fully removed from Melvin’s record, there’s one more process he has to go through — a legal filing. Melvin says his attorney has already filed that, but it could take some time before everything is processed. 

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