CLAREMONT, Bronx – A teacher was arrested after allegedly slapping a student at a Bronx middle school.
Fatai Okunola, 50, was charged with assault after he was accused of hitting a 12-year-old girl, said police.
The student and her mother called police to the school Thursday afternoon, alleging that Okunola slapped her in the classroom Wednesday at I.S. 219, police said.
Okunola has faced complaints prior to Thursday’s arrest, such as making inappropriate comments toward students. He was also suspended for 90 days in 2005 after allegedly giving students answers during a math test by writing answers on the back of paper rulers and leaving the classroom while proctoring, according to the Office of the Special Commissioner.
During his administrative hearing in 2011, many of the charges were dismissed. “I denied everything because I didn’t do any of those things,” Okunola said, “I didn’t have money to hire an outside lawyer to fight, so I just leave everything to God,” he told the NY Times.
He has also had two separate complaints of corporal punishment in 2005 and 2014.
The Department of Education released a statement, saying the Okunola has been removed from the school.
“These troubling alleged actions are completely unacceptable. This individual has been removed from the school and reassigned away from students pending the resolution of this criminal matter,” said the Department of Education.
Okunola began as a substitute teacher in 1998 and started teaching at I.S. 219 back in 2002.