1st grade teacher charged with choking students

Image: Susan Lee Burke
Some of Susan Burke's 6- and 7-year-old students say she choked, kicked, punched, or scratched them.AP
/ Source: msnbc.com staff and news service reports

A teacher has been charged with choking and hitting students during the school day.

Susan Burke was charged Tuesday with nine counts of second-degree assault. Nine of the 6- and 7-year-old students in her class at Greencastle Elementary School reported that Burke choked them. Some said she kicked, punched, or scratched or tightly squeezed their arms.

Burke was removed from the classroom on Jan. 4.

Kendra Tyler, the mother of two Greencastle students, said she was shocked by the news.

Sharon Durham says her 7-year-old son told her Burke had choked him while he was standing in line. She says she asked Burke about the incident, but the teacher didn't seem to know what she was talking about.

that mother Christine Harris said her daughter was pinched and hit by the teacher last year. Harris claimed that nothing happened after she reported the incident.

Both Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery County Education Association, which represents teachers, declined to comment, NBC Washington reported.

Burke was released on bail Wednesday, but no one answered at a phone listing for her. It is not clear if she has an attorney.