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Hawkins teacher charged in assault still in classroom

Jeff Bobo • Feb 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM

ROGERSVILLE — A Hawkins County teacher arrested last week on one count of aggravated assault will remain in the classroom, school officials have decided.

According to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office arrest warrant, on Feb. 3 deputies responded to the home of Veleka Sharon Setsor, 39, 102 Gordon Road, Rogersville, on a complaint of a domestic dispute between Setsor and her 18-year-old daughter.

Upon their arrival, Deputies Chris Funk and Ethan Calhoun spoke to the alleged victim, Eden Cheyenne Setsor, who said she’d been in an argument with her mother. The daughter said Veleka Setsor had told her to pack all of her belongings and leave the home.

“According to the daughter, her mother then left the bedroom and retrieved what appeared to be a rifle and threatened to kill her with it,” Funk stated in the arrest warrant. “The mother confirmed that she did get what she thought was a pellet rifle and returned to the room. The mother denied making the threat, (but) Central Dispatch confirmed on recorded line the mother stating ‘I will kill you.’

“I then placed Veleka Sharon Setsor under arrest for aggravated assault and transported her to the Hawkins County Jail for booking.”

Setsor is scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Sessions Court on Feb. 25.

Hawkins County Director of Schools Charlotte Britton told the Times-News Tuesday that Setsor will remain in the classroom at Hawkins Elementary School, where she teaches fourth grade science and social studies. Setsor has been employed with the school system for 10 years, including two as an instructional aide and the past eight as a teacher.

“The matter is currently under review by our office and the local authorities,” Britton said. “It is essential that the parents understand that the safety of all students in the school system is of our utmost concern. Provisions have been made at Hawkins Elementary to ensure the safety of every student.

“I was at the school Monday morning with additional Central Office personnel to ensure a smooth start for the day. Additional personnel were at the school again this morning.”

Britton said the school counselor is also available to students who might “feel a need to speak with an adult for any reason.”

She said an educational assistant has also been assigned full time to the fourth-grade social studies and science classes that Setsor teaches.

When Hawkins County School Maintenance Director Ralph Hurd was arrested and charged with official misconduct last August, he was placed on administrative leave with pay pending the resolution of his charge.

Setsor will not be suspended or asked to take leave while this charge is pending, Britton said.

“This has no relation to our school environment or classroom performance,” Britton said.

Britton added that parents who wish to express their concerns are welcome to call Hawkins Elementary Principal Barry Bellamy during school hours at 272-2632.

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