A total of six paraprofessionals (teacher’s aides) were terminated from their positions in a special needs class at Pikeville Elementary. Two of the six, Shelia Schmidt and Chloe Frizzell, were charged with child abuse. According to Detective Drake Brown’s arrest warrants on the two women, he reviewed a video of the incident which showed Frizzell picking up an object, throwing it at the child, and hitting her with the object. She was also observed shoving the child to the ground. Schmidt was observed throwing an object at the child and grabbing her by the hair, dragging approximately 8-10 feet and sitting her in a chair, stated the warrant.
Late Monday evening, Director of Schools Selina Sparkman released the following post on Pikeville Elementary’s on social media:
As you may be aware, an incident occurred on Wednesday, February 15th at Pikeville Elementary School. Principal Lee Ann Morris discovered this situation and immediately reported it to the Department of Children’s Services and the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Department. After an investigation conducted by the district, the decision was made to terminate six employees. No other information can be shared at this time due to the fact that there is an ongoing legal investigation that is being conducted by the Bledsoe County Sheriff’s Department. This is in no way indicative of the care that is demonstrated for our students on a daily basis. A plan has been prepared to ensure our students are safe and secure when they return to school tomorrow (Tuesday, February 21). We look forward to welcoming them back.
Selina Sparkman, Director of Schools
Two Pikeville Elementary School aides in a special needs classroom have been charged with child abuse, according to Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris. Accused of the alleged abuse are Chloe Frizzell, 25, and Shelia Schmidt, 63, both of Pikeville, stated Sheriff Morris. They were arrested on February 15, 2023 and were released on a $7,500 signature bond, according to the Sheriff.
An investigation into the alleged incident is ongoing by law enforcement, Department of Children Services and the District Attorney’s office, said Howard Upchurch, Bledsoe County School System attorney.
“The students are safe,” said Upchurch, “and their safety is paramount to the Director and School Board.”
No further information is being released at this time.
The Bledsonian-Banner will have more information on the incident in its March 2 issue.