WSHS teacher who slapped student resigns, will be paid through 2012

2012-08-29T00:00:00Z WSHS teacher who slapped student resigns, will be paid through 2012By Amy Pearson | Winona Daily News La Crosse Tribune
August 29, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The special-education teacher at Winona Senior High School who was charged in May with slapping a student has resigned.

Winona Area Public Schools Board members Tuesday morning accepted the resignation of Theresa Kersting, approving an agreement that places Kersting on paid administrative leave through 2012 and bars her from seeking future employment with the district.

Court records show that the 50-year-old pleaded guilty earlier this month to misdemeanor assault and was placed on one year of unsupervised probation.

She also was granted a continuance for dismissal, meaning if Kersting remains law abiding for the next year, her record will remain free of a conviction and the case will be expunged.

“I don’t expect there will be any further proceedings,” said Kersting’s attorney, Sarah MacGillis.

MacGillis declined to comment on Kersting’s decision to resign, other than saying Kersting had personal reasons for doing so.

Prosecuting attorney Michael Flaherty said Kersting’s lack of criminal history and her willingness to take responsibility for the incident were factors in offering the continuance for dismissal.

According to a criminal complaint, a classroom aide told Winona Senior High School principal Kelly Halvorsen late last school year that Kersting had slapped a 19-year-old male special-education student in early April after he grabbed Kersting’s glasses and threw them on the floor. Halvorsen subsequently contacted the Winona Police Depart-ment, which initiated an investigation.

According to a police report, the boy is not verbal and was not able to give an account of the incident.

Winona Area Public Schools employees are required by law to report to their supervisors any instance or evidence of child abuse or neglect they observe. Those reports are forwarded to police or the department of human services for investigation.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. yojo
    Report Abuse
    yojo - August 29, 2012 12:37 pm
    I feel bad for the teacher, knee jerk reaction if you dont see well, you protect your glasses and some jerk throws them on the floor slapping him probably was a split second choice, wrong but perfectly understandable. Possibly a long career thrown away. I certainly am not a teacher but I dont see well and I would have a flair up if someone assulted me by taking away my sight, not planned or thought out simple reaction. Human nature
  2. bb
    Report Abuse
    bb - August 29, 2012 12:24 pm
    Fubar, you could have been a teacher too, but then you would have had to go to college.
  3. FUBAR
    Report Abuse
    FUBAR - August 29, 2012 9:53 am
    This is your teachers union at work people. How can this not disgust you? You Winona tax payers will pay her salary for the school year and she is not even working. Gov unions should not be allowed and because of them this child abuser will get money for doing it. Off with their heads.
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