Eagle Mountain Teacher Fired, Accused Of Child Abuse

Apr 18, 2019, 7:08 PM | Updated: 10:50 pm

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — A teacher has been fired and cited for child abuse after investigators say he pushed a 14-year-old student up against a wall and threw him to the floor during a dispute.

Sergeant Spencer Cannon, spokesperson for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, said the teacher, 40-year-old Anthony Chidester, had gotten into a disagreement with the student who was not following directions in P.E. class.

He said Chidester put his hands around the boy’s neck and shoulders and pushed him up against a wall, then threw him to the ground and held him there. Other students intervened and the altercation ended.

The teacher at the center of the incident said he had had several run-ins with the student throughout the year.

“As an educator I have been bullied, I have been threaten(ed) with physical harm…on a daily basis, teased that I am powerless. Students have touched my legs and pulled the hair out of my calves. Again this in no way excuses my behavior, and I truly am sorry for my actions,” Anthony Chidester said.

A student who witnessed the incident said it all started when Chidester asked the student to put a basketball away after class.

“The teacher said ‘give it to me’ and he said ‘I am putting it away like you told me to’ and then he threw it the closet where it goes,” student Dillan Bunker said. “The teacher grabbed him and threw him up against the wall, slammed him several times.”

The school’s executive director, Darren Beck, was notified of the situation. He said he fired Chidester on the spot and told him to leave.

He released surveillance video to KSL which shows the altercation. He said the video made him feel sick.

“I did get the story from him. I let him tell his side of it. Adults, kids, same difference with me, but there’s no, absolutely no way that I can condone that kind of action,” Beck said.

Cannon said a deputy went to Chidester’s home to speak with him. He said Chidester acknowledged what happened.

“Chagrined would be putting it mildly. He readily acknowledged that he overreacted. Hindsight, for him, is working really strong right now, but it’s a little late,” Cannon said.

Cannon said the deputy cited Chidester for child abuse, a class A misdemeanor.

“The way he put his hands on the student’s neck and threw him to the floor, there was some significant force involved in that. It clearly was an inappropriate reaction to the situation,” Cannon said.

Beck said this was Chidester’s second year as a teacher at the school.

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Eagle Mountain Teacher Fired, Accused Of Child Abuse