hard of hearing students

Former Ionia County ISD teacher convicted of assaulting deaf student by spitting in his face

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A former Ionia County Intermediate School District (ISD) teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing was convicted by a jury on Friday of assaulting a 5-year-old student by spitting in the boy’s face.

Jill Burt-Spoelma was charged with two counts of fourth-degree child abuse (which carries a possible one-year in jail penalty) and two counts of assault and battery (which carries a possible 93 days in jail penalty). The assault and battery charges were only added against Burt-Spoelma on the morning of the trial, which was presided over by Ionia County District Court Judge Raymond Voet.