Court records indicate that a Highlands Ranch science teacher being accused of child abuse has a previous conviction for assault following a similar incident in the same school district.
Thunderidge High School teacher Todd Bennethum now stands accused of walking up behind a student and hitting him on the head with a yardstick, just after telling his entire class to shut up.
Bennethum made a court appearance on the charge Tuesday.
The 45-year-old teacher was convicted of assault four years ago after he hit a softball player following a game.
Douglas County Schools spokesman Bill Hodges says officials, at the time, didn't think the conviction warranted termination, but parents now want to know why he wasn't fired.
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