SALEM, W.Va. (AP) – A teacher at a faith-based, private boarding school in Harrison County was arrested on charges that he choked a young resident, and 19 children who lived there have been removed, authorities said.
Tim Aaron Arrington, 36, of Salem, was arraigned Thursday in Harrison County Magistrate Court on one felony count of child abuse by a guardian.
Arrington teaches at the Miracle Meadows School. Harrison County Prosecutor Joe Shaffer said Arrington is accused of choking a young resident who then became unconscious.
A criminal complaint said the alleged incident occurred in June. Harrison County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Waybright said in the complaint that the child was handcuffed in his room when he awoke.
Waybright said Arrington “also advised that he had restrained multiple male students up to and including handcuffing students while working at Miracle Meadows School.”
A call to the school Friday was referred to an official who didn’t immediately return a phone message.
Media outlets report children from the school were taken by bus to the Harrison County Courthouse accompanied by law enforcement vehicles. The children were placed in the temporary care of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services.
Miracle Meadows human resources director Michelle Cushnie said she believed the children’s parents would be contacted.
Arrington has been released from jail on bond. He didn’t have a listed telephone number and it wasn’t immediately known whether he has an attorney.
The school’s website says it is open to boys and girls ages 6 to 18 who “are experiencing difficulty relating in a positive way to family, school, church or community.” The website says the school is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.