Local elementary school teacher faces second injury to a child charge

Olga Najera CBS.jpg

A local elementary school teacher accused of child abuse was arrested again for allegedly hitting a student, police said.

Olga Najera, a 52-year-old teacher at Helen Ball Elementary, is accused of hitting a 5-year-old student with an open hand between July 31 and Aug. 28, police said.

A warrant was issued for an injury to a child charge, and she was arrested Monday. She was booked into the county jail under a $15,000 bond.

Najera was arrested in August for a separate injury to a child incident that allegedly happened in August 2016.

Najera was originally placed on administrative leave in March due to reports of inappropriate behavior at Myrtle Cooper Elementary, but there were no findings to prove the allegations and the teacher was transferred to Helen Ball, the district said.

In the August 2016 incident, court records state Najera allegedly pinched a child younger than 14 on the arm, and scratched the child around the hands.

She also allegedly slapped another child in the face, stepped on the child’s foot and kicked the child, the documents said.

The court documents do not state if the children were Najera’s students or if the incident happened at a school.

Najera's attorney, Mary Stillinger released the following statement on the accusations:

"Olga Najera has worked as a bilingual educator of very young children for over ten years in the Socorro Independent School District. She has an excellent reputation with students, parents and fellow teachers. The accusations made against her are absolutely false. The allegations have been investigated and were found to be without any merit. Unfortunately, it is very easy to manipulate or misunderstand what very young children say. Our children's safety and education are of utmost importance, but it is also law enforcement's responsibility to do thorough investigation, before bringing charges. That was not done here. These false accusations have been devastating to Ms. Najera and her reputation. We are looking for forward to clearing Ms. Najera's name and getting her back in the classroom."

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