Michael Guerette (Photo courtesy of Albany County Sheriff's Office)
A teacher and soccer coach in the Voorheesville Central School District faces a criminal charge after being accused of biting a student during a class.
Michael Guerette, 50, of Voorheesville is charged with endangering the welfare of a child. According to the district and the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Guerette, a fifth grade teacher at Voorheesville Elementary School, was arm wrestling with a student during classroom instructional time on Dec. 13. Other students, according to the Sheriff’s Office, became excited and were pulling and pushing the student’s arm.
A female student allegedly reached her arm across the desk in front of Guerette and pulled on the student’s hand. The Sheriff’s Office reported that Guerette then allegedly bit the female student in the forearm, leaving teeth marks and a bruise that was still visible 48 hours after the incident,
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Guerette notified the principal of the school at the end of the school day. District Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder said Guerette was immediately placed on administrative leave and an internal investigation commenced.
On Dec. 19, the Sheriff’s Office was notified of the incident in accordance with district policy, and a criminal investigation began. On Dec. 21, Guerette was formally charged.
In a letter to parents, Snyder said Guerette “will remain on leave from all duties while the district awaits the resolution of the charge against him.” The district is also communicating with the State Education Department to discuss appropriate disciplinary actions.
The Sheriff’s Office is also investigating additional incidents of inappropriate behavior or unprofessional comments Guerette may have potentially made, however, no additional charges have been filed.
Guerette was charged and released. Arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 16 in Voorheesville Justice Court.
Read the letter sent by district officials to parents here.