Connecticut elementary school teacher accused of putting students in chokehold


(NEW YORK) — A Connecticut elementary school teacher has been arrested after she allegedly demonstrated a chokehold on her students, causing one of them to faint, authorities said.

The alleged incident occurred last month at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk, Connecticut. The Norwalk Police Department said in a press release on Saturday that it was contacted by Norwalk Public Schools on Feb. 24 after “a staff member had just rendered a student unconscious at Brookside Elementary School.”

The police department immediately deployed its Special Victims Unit to investigate the case and a probe revealed that 50-year-old Stefanie Sanabria, who was working as a math coach at the school, “had demonstrated a martial arts choke hold on three fifth-grade students in class” and “one of the students lost consciousness as a result,” according to the press release.

The child was “immediately” treated by the school nurse, police said. The child’s condition was unknown.

A spokesperson for Norwalk Public Schools said the student did not sustain any permanent injury and that Sanabria has since resigned.

“The safety of our students is our first concern, and we immediately investigated the situation involving Ms. Sanabria when it occurred,” the spokesperson told New Haven ABC affiliate WTNH-TV in a statement.

Police did not say why Sanabria was showcasing martial arts moves on students or at school.

Based on findings from the ongoing investigation, an arrest warrant for Sanabria was issued last Friday and she was taken into custody on $20,000 bond at her home in Danbury, Connecticut. She has been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree strangulation and risk of injury to a minor, according to police.

Sanabria’s initial court appearance is scheduled for March 10, police said. It was unclear whether she had retained an attorney.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.