Assault Charges Dropped: Mom Wants Answers

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Polk County Attorney’s Office dismissed charges today against a Hubbell Elementary School teacher.  Anita Babe was accused of assaulting a 12-year-old special needs student on two occasions last April.

The mother of that student, Kristi Langford claims Babe left 4-inch bruises on her son’s arms.

“Anita Babe has been pulling Dakota out of chairs yanking him into chairs, yanking him out, sometimes grabbing him by the neck and escorting him down the hallway.”

An investigation by the Des Moines School District came to the same conclusion.  But Langford says prosecutors told her this week that the charges would be dismissed because “police did not investigate it properly.”

Des Moines Police Spokesperson, Sgt. Jason Halifax says there was a thorough investigation.

“When we filed charges we had probable cause to file charges and we actually ran the case through a county attorney who approved the charges.”

A spokesperson for the Des Moines School District says Babe is on administrative leave, but would not comment further, saying it’s a personnel matter.

Langford says when she picked her son up from school on April 10, he was shaking uncontrollably.

“As we were driving home I asked him why is he shaking and he said, Anita keeps squeezing his arms and pulling him down and yanking him out of chairs.”

Langford noticed the bruises on his arms the following day and took pictures of the marks.  Five days later, Langford says Babe assaulted her son again.

Witnesses told the District’s investigator that “Babe has a terrible temper and has been known to use physical force on students.”  The report also says Babe has been warned about speaking sarcastically to students, “especially those she is not fond of.”

Langford says she’s concerned about her son and other students, should Babe return to the classroom.

“I don`t know what we can do.  It’s so sad because there’s a chance now that she’s going to be able to go back to the schools and start teaching again and I have a very bad feeling that this is going to happen again to another child.”

Neither the Polk County Attorney or Babe’s attorney returned our phone calls.

Langford says her son is not the same.  She home schools him because she says he’s afraid to go to school and afraid of teachers.  She says he’s also seeing a counselor for emotional trauma.  As a result, she may sue the District.

“The school knew.  The school knew that this has been going on. Teachers have been talking and reporting this to the principal.”



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