Bibb Co. school teacher resigned after arrest, charge of cruelty to children

Photo courtesy: Bibb County Sheriff's Office

MACON, Ga. -- Bibb County deputies arrested 37-year-old Heritage Elementary School teacher Jessica Garcia Stevens on a charge of cruelty to children.

A sheriff's report says a deputy met with the parents of the victim on May 24, who alleged that Stevens called them on May 16 to say that their 10-year-old child had disrupted her class.

Stevens reportedly said she'd had enough of the student's behavior, grabbed his arm and told him to "Get your a** out of my classroom!" The child talked to his parents about the incident after school that day and showed them where Stevens had grabbed his arm, the report says.

The child's mother reportedly took pictures of her son's arm and showed the deputy, who believed the photos showed bruises on his wrist that looked like they were caused by a tight grip.

The report says the victim's mother also spoke with the principal and to the Board of Education Office, where she got video of what happened in the classroom. The mother said she was "disgusted" by seeing "Stevens grab her son by his arm and drag him across the classroom to the door."

The deputy went to the school, where the principal showed them the video footage. It reportedly showed several students playing and running around the classroom while Stevens sat at her desk to use her cell phone and computer.

The report says the video then shows Stevens getting up from her desk and leaning over and pointing her finger at the child. As Stevens walks away, the student reportedly knocked over a lunch bag containing glass, causing some items to break.

Stevens "aggressively" walked back over to the student, grabbed his arm, pulled him out of his chair onto the floor and dragged him with the chair attached to his foot, the deputy reported. Halfway to the door, Stevens reportedly let go of the student before grabbing him again to drag him to the door, "where she tries to push him out."

The principal told the deputy that Stevens admitted to saying that she told the student to "get his little a** up and leave" her class. Stevens also admitted to using profanity in the statement she gave the principal, but the deputy reported that Stevens minimized the incident in her statement.

Some students and two other teachers gave witness statements. One teacher reportedly saw the student crying while Stevens kept grabbing and pulling him until he got up and she "shoved" him out of the class.

Another teacher reported seeing a "'fingerprint' type bruising" on the student's arm.

WGXA reached out to the Bibb County School District on this incident, which gave the following statement:

"On May 16, an incident involving Heritage Elementary teacher Dr. Jessica Garcia Stevens was reported to the school’s administration and to the District’s Human Resources Department. Dr. Stevens, a fourth grade teacher, was placed on leave with pay immediately pending an investigation of the incident. During the investigation process, the District remained transparent with all parties, including DFCS, the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office and the parents connected to this incident.

On May 24, HR representatives met with Dr. Stevens and she resigned her position at that time.

This was the teacher’s first year at Heritage Elementary School. She has been a teacher for about a decade. She previously taught at Vineville Academy and Taylor Elementary School, as well as in Henry County."

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