Pasco County teacher accused of dragging student

Student left with scratch after dragging

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. - In a video posted to a website for World Nation, Cynthia Haring, the music program's director, strums a happy song on the guitar.

The program's mission, the site says, is "to inspire respect, understanding and peace across countries, religions and cultures."
But the 60-year-old teacher is now facing child abuse charges. Authorities say a disruptive class at Calusa Elementary School upset Haring on Wednesday to the point that she grabbed a 10-year-old boy from behind and dragged him about 5 feet.

UPDATE: The charges were dropped. 

"He irritated her apparently," said Linda Cobbe, a Pasco County school district spokeswoman. "And she wanted him to be in a spot and he was resisting."

Investigators said her fingernail left a small scratch on the boy's arm.

"From what I hear it was about a 2 inch scratch, not badly hurt, but teachers are told don't put your hands on students," said Cobbe. "And she violated that."

Investigators said the next day other students from the class, upset by what they saw, told the principal.

Haring was arrested at the other New Port Richey school she teaches for, Dear Park Elementary.
Parent Theresa Streeter volunteers at Calusa and said if there's trouble teachers know not to get physical.
"It's kind of scary that there are teachers like that here, but she's not anymore," said Streeter.
Haring has worked for the Pasco school district since 2006 and had a clean record.

The World Nation website says she followed her mother's path teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Her newest CD features children and raises money for scholarships.

Haring is featured in this clip from a local Iowa station where she previously lived:

Haring is on paid administrative leave, but a suspension or firing could be coming depending on what the Sheriff's Office investigation concludes, according to school officials.

There was no answer at the door when we stopped by Haring's home Friday afternoon.

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