Police are reopening an investigation into an elementary school teacher in Fremont accused of slapping a third-grader for getting a math problem wrong.
A third-grade teacher remains on leave from Patterson Elementary School as police reopen the investigation into allegations that he slapped a 9-year-old boy in his class on April 28, according to police and attorney Dionne Choyce, who is representing the student's family.
According to Choyce, Danny Rivera Jr. went to pick up his son from the school at 35521 Cabrillo Drive that day and found him crying.
The boy told his father that the teacher had grabbed his cheeks hard and slapped him twice in the face because he didn't know the answer to a math problem, the attorney said. Other students in the class saw the incident and corroborated the boy's story, according to Choyce.
The attorney said that when questioned about the incident by school principal Marlene Davis in front of the boy, the teacher said he gave the student a pat on the face, not a slap.
Fremont Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Robert Lee said Thursday that the teacher was placed on administrative leave after police and the district reviewed the case, but that "appropriate action" had been taken and the teacher was expected to return to school Friday.
However, the teacher didn't return to school Friday after police reopened the case.
Fremont police spokeswoman Geneva Bosques said the family initially declined further police investigation, but after contacting the family's attorney on Thursday, police learned that they had requested a full investigation.
"So we are picking up where we left off last week and continuing our criminal investigation," she said in an email.
Rivera and several other adults stood in front of Patterson Elementary with signs Friday morning to protest the alleged mistreatment of his son and the teacher's return.
Neither the father nor his lawyer could be reached for comment Friday morning.