A Berks County school employee is accused of body-slamming a teen student during a brutal attack while a teacher is accused of lying to cover the incident up.
Ismael Seals, 34, of Philadelphia and Teresa Bivens, 27, were both arrested and charged in the alleged attack of a 17-year-old boy at Paramount Academy in Reading, Pa. Paramount Academy is a school for students in grades six through 12 who require therapeutic needs that can’t be provided for in a traditional educational environment.
Police say the attack occurred at the school back on April 24 around 1 p.m. According to investigators, Bivens was teaching a class while Seals, a “Behavioral Specialist,” was supervising the students. Police say students in the class other than the victim were being loud. Seals ordered the class to be quiet and claimed the next person who spoke would be “body-slammed” through the door.
Investigators say the 17-year-old asked Bivens for permission to sharpen his pencil a short time later. After Bivens gave him permission, the boy stood up. Seals then allegedly ordered the boy to sit down. Police say Seals then grabbed the boy and slammed him several times against the classroom door, forcing him into the hallway. Seals allegedly continued to assault the victim by pushing him into the wall while holding his shirt.
Police say Seals then swung the boy headfirst into the wall and pinned him to the floor. Seals stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 280 pounds while the teen is approximately 5-foot-8 and weighs 162 pounds. Investigators say the teen suffered scratches and bruises to his upper torso in the attack, which was captured on surveillance video.
Both Bivens and Seals submitted incident reports after the alleged attack, which is part of protocol at the school. Investigators say they also submitted audio and video recorded statements on April 28. During the statements, they allegedly falsely implicated the teen as being disruptive.
On May 2, Bivens allegedly admitted her first interview and report was false and confirmed the teen’s report of the assault. Police say Bivens admitted that she lied on the original report because she was told by her “higher ups” to clean up the incident.
On August 4, detectives obtained arrest warrants for both Bivens and Seals. Seals is charged with aggravated assault, tampering with physical evidence, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses. Bivens is charged with unsworn falsification to authorities, tampering with physical evidence and other related offenses.
Bivens surrendered to Berks County Detectives without incident Tuesday around 10 a.m. Seals is expected to surrender shortly, according to investigators.