NJ substitute aims stun gun at ‘gang member’ student, loses credentials
NEWARK — A substitute teacher who said she pointed a stun gun at a student because she felt threatened will lose her credentials after a decision by the state board of examiners.
Rochelle R. Caraway was working as a substitute teacher at Barringer High School when she brought the weapon to school because she was working with "children who were minors in age but very adult in their mannerism," as well as the language they used, the board quoted her as saying in its decision.
In her reply to the board, Caraway said that during her time at the school, she had to call security to her room on multiple occasions. She also told the board that the student she had pulled the weapon on was a gang member who had had threatened her, according to the decision.
The board decision didn't describe the incident in which Caraway pointed the stun gun itself.
As a result of the incident, Caraway was arrested in June 2015 and charged with possession of a stun gun, endangering the welfare of children and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. She was admitted into a pretrial intervention program for 36 months, given a fine and ordered to perform community service.
Caraway said despite the incident, she did not believe her certification should be revoked because she "loved kids and had worked around children her whole life," the decision states. She was also quoted in the decision as saying that an attack earlier in her life had made her "hypersensitive to someone invading my personal space and being antagonistic towards me," and that she did not condone her behavior.
In its decision, the board said she showed "behavior that falls far short of a role model regardless of what prompted such conduct." As a result the board voted to revoke her certification effective immediately. She can appeal that decision to the state commissioner of education.
New Jersey 101.5 did not know whether she planned to appeal, or if she had an attorney to represent her in the matter.
A Facebook page for someone with Caraway's name lists her as a teacher at Unity Charter School in Morristown. A spokesperson for the school said Caraway had been a substitute there a few times, but not in a long time. Carway did not respond to a Facebook message seeking comment as of Monday afternoon.
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