ANSON COUNTY, NC – An Anson County teacher continues the fight to get her job back after she was suspended without pay for slapping a student. Patricia Frost admits to hitting Johnathan Smith, 18, but only to defend herself after she says he refused to pull up his pants and cursed her out. She can still clearly remember the moments before her altercation with Smith.
“My instinct was to back away from him,” she recalled. “He was cursing at me. He called me a ‘eff-ing ho’. He threatened me he said I’m gonna eff-you up. When I put my hand up it did hit his face and then he came around and smacked me soundly on the side of my head.” After the altercation, Frost was first suspended with pay but is now under a suspension without pay.
Her attorney Josh Van Kampen said, “the only way Pat could have saved her job if she pretended she was a punching bag. We have the right to request a case manager hearing to basically review the facts and circumstances.”
The case manager is an independent third party who will conduct an investigation to determine if “acted appropriately”, according to the appeal filed by Van Kampen. He also told WBTV the Anson County Superintendent “was negligent and reckless” in how he has handled the investigation. “How is he somehow deciding to credit this student over the version of 13 year teacher who had an impeccable record,” Van Kampen wondered.
For Frost, she believes this appeal is critical in making sure teachers’ rights are protected. “I could have just resigned and I would have left,” she said. “But it doesn’t help the problem. At some point, somebody needs to say we need to protect our teachers and that won’t happen if I keep quiet.” A case manager will be appointed to Frost’s appeal within the next 10 days and decision will be made in the next 90 days.
Both Frost and Smith filed criminal charges against one another.