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Judge refuses to issue warrant against teacher

CONYERS - Chief Superior Court Judge Sidney Nation rejected a warrant application request for a Rockdale County school teacher, saying there was no sufficient evidence to justify a warrant.

The parent of a 13-year-old student at Memorial Middle School asked that a warrant for cruelty to children be issued against Jean Pirkle for allegedly striking the student on the arm.

Nation heard testimony at a Tuesday afternoon hearing from the alleged victim, several witness and the investigator and determined that based on the totality of circumstance there was no probable cause that a crime occurred.

Pirkle vehemently denied hitting the student and the judge noted there was considerable conflicting testimony from the witnesses regarding the alleged incident, including another student who said the teacher never struck the girl and that the girl had asked him to lie for her.

The investigator also said he did not believe there was evidence to support a warrant.

The alleged victim, who is no longer a student in Pirkle's class, testified she was struck on the upper right arm. However, under questioning from the judge, she admitted she had prior difficulties with Pirkle.

"I think we have a student who doesn't like her teacher and a teacher who is frustrated with a student, but there is no evidence that a crime occurred," said Nation.

Ric Latarski can be reached at ric.latarski@rockdalecitizen.com.