A Harlem teacher who has a history of abuse was charged on Wednesday with shoving a second grader out of a classroom, according to court records.
Back in December, 53-year-old Osman Couey apparently asked the young kid to leave the classroom inside P.S. 194 and locked the door behind him, a law enforcement official said. The kid then saw the school’s psychologist in the hallway and tried to walk back into the classroom, the official said.
But Couey allegedly pushed the child back into the hallway at about 11:30 a.m. on December 23, according to the criminal complaint. The child fell to the ground and started crying.
Couey was charged with endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree attempted assault. Bail was set at $1,000 cash during his arraignment on Wednesday.
An attorney for Couey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Following this December incident, Couey was reassigned away from the classroom, a Department of Education official said. But this was not the first time Couey was investigated for shoving a student, and for the Department of Education, this was the last straw.
“This behavior is deeply disturbing, and we will seek to terminate this teacher’s employment pending the resolution of his criminal case,” Department of Education spokeswoman Devora Kaye said in an email. “Providing safe and supportive environments for all students is our top priority, and Mr. Couey was removed from the classroom and reassigned away from students.”
Couey, a teacher since 1992 and at P.S. 194 since 1993, was also written up in 2013 when he was accused of pushing a student down the stairs, a DOE official said. That claim was not substantiated, but he received a letter that he “exercised poor judgment.”
In 2014, Couey was again given a letter for his file.
And he received two previous letters in 2004 and 2007 for allegations of corporal punishment and verbal abuse, the official said.
Couey’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 29.