Guilty plea from ex-Minnesota teacher who threw hockey stick at student
PRINCETON, Minn. (FOX 9) - A former Princeton, Minnesota, teacher has pleaded guilty after hitting a second-grader with a hockey stick earlier this year.
Kimberly Neubauer, 63, of Princeton, resigned from her teaching position after surveillance footage captured her throwing a hockey stick at an 8-year-old boy. She was charged with third-degree assault in July in connection to the incident.
Neubauer pleaded guilty to third-degree assault on Tuesday. She's scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 23, 2023.
In May, the Minnesota Department of Education determined the child was subject to maltreatment by the teacher, after reviewing the surveillance footage and interviewing the student.
The video footage obtained by FOX 9 (watch it above) shows students placing their hockey sticks in a pile when 8-year-old Easton Johnson can be seen tossing his hockey stick toward the pile. The teacher then quickly picks it up and throws it at him, resulting in Easton losing a tooth, according to his parents.
"We’re in shock," said Easton’s father Lance Johnson at the time. "She’s within 5 feet, and she didn’t even hesitate. Like she was trying to hurt him."
Neubauer was placed on administrative leave immediately following the incident and the district accepted her resignation shortly thereafter, according to the superintendent of Princeton Public Schools Ben Barton.
However, FOX 9 learned that in an internal email to staff two weeks following the incident, the school’s principal notified colleagues of the teacher’s departure without mentioning the alleged assault, saying she wished the teacher "the absolute best."
More recently, the district posted on its Facebook page congratulating Neubauer on her retirement. Barton has since apologized for the post, saying he didn’t authorize it and it was taken down as soon as he was made aware.
According to the charges, dental records show the child lost an upper front-right baby tooth due to the incident and had been "completely knocked out with no root left behind." Records also noted bruising.