Utah County PE teacher charged with child abuse after incident with 14-year-old

Local News

EAGLE MOUNTAIN (ABC4 News) – A high school physical education teacher faces child abuse charge after an incident with a student Thursday.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office said Anthony Robbie Chidester, 40, of Cedar Hills, a PE teacher at Rockwell Charter High School was charged after he allegedly put his hands on a student’s neck and shoulder and threw the child to the floor.

Investigators said the teacher had a disagreement with a 14-year-old student who was reportedly “not following instructions.”

That’s when, according to deputies, the teacher put his hands on the student around his neck and shoulders and pushed him against a wall.  The teacher then allegedly threw the student onto the floor and held him there.  

When administrators learned about the incident, Chidester was told to leave the school. A UCSO deputy went to his home and obtained a written statement where Chidester reportedly acknowledged his actions.

The student sustained minor injuries to his neck and shoulder. Chidester was issued a citation for one count of class A misdemeanor child abuse. 

He will have to appear in court sometime in the next couple of weeks. 

Chidester sent a statement to ABC4 News saying that he is sorry for his actions. 

 “I am absolutely mortified by this experience and truly sorry for my actions.  I am so sorry to the young man and his family and feel just gutted from this experience. I allowed an incident of disrespect, bullying, teasing, and insubordination from a student to escalate.  As an educator I have been bullied, I have been threatened with physical harm, told to F off on a daily basis, teased that I am powerless, told that I am worthless, had balls and weights thrown at me.  Students have touched my legs and pulled the hair out of my calves and filmed me while I taught and mocked me.  Again this in no way excuses my behavior, and I truly am sorry for my actions, but I don’t think people realize the conditions that we have to teach in.  I am completely heartbroken because have loved my opportunity to teach.”

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