Muskogee teacher back in school after guilty plea

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 24, 2018

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- A Muskogee teacher is back in the classroom less than one week after pleading guilty to assaulting a child.

37-year-old Daniel Watson was arrested and charged with child abuse last June after spanking his girlfriend’s autistic 4-year-old son, leaving marks on the child’s body. 

Last week, Watson pleaded guilty to domestic abuse and battery - a reduced charge from child abuse. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but that sentence was deferred.

Today, Watson is still employed with Muskogee Public Schools and is already back in front of the white board

The four-year-old victim’s grandmother, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “How can he be in a classroom? I don’t understand.”

In a statement, Superintendent Mike Garde defended Watson saying, “Mr. Watson has been a teacher with the district for 10 years. During that time, he has been a model teacher without any disciplinary issues.”

He adds, “The school district does not allow corporal punishment,” and with Watson on staff, the “students are in a safe environment that is conducive to learning.”

And although the superintendent may disagree, the child’s grandmother says Watson should never be allowed to step foot in a classroom again.

She said, “Why would you put a person who knowingly hit a child into a classroom full of other kids? It makes no sense.”

Watson was also court ordered to anger management classes and to have no contact with the victim or the victims family.

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