Charge dismissed against Guthrie teacher
By Greg Elwell
The Oklahoman, March 23, 2004

GUTHRIE -- A Logan County district judge threw out a charge of abuse by caretaker against a Guthrie special education teacher Monday. Video

Judge William Wheeler said the alleged actions by defendant Lisa Gaye Williams, including spanking a special-needs child with a belt and hitting her with a piece of rubber tubing, would be appropriate actions in response to the actions of the child.

Wheeler said the acts of violence were not gratuitous or an excessive use of force, Logan County District Attorney Rob Hudson said.

Williams, 43, was pleased with the decision and tearful, her attorney Richard O'Carroll said.

"When the matter is fully resolved, she is looking forward to going back to work," he said.

Hudson said the state has not decided whether it will appeal the decision, but if the truth came out, he is happy.

Hudson said he was disappointed in the testimony of a witness who testified Williams had "tapped" the child. In earlier written statements, that witness used the word "hit," he said.

Williams could still face disciplinary action from Guthrie Public Schools officials if they decide she used corporal punishment on the child, Hudson said.

"The schools still have a tough decision to make," Hudson said.

"She's not out of the woods yet."

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