Warrant issued for arrest of school employee in student assault

Warrant issued for school employee in student assault

READING, Pa. - Authorities have issued a warrant for the arrest of a school employee in the physical assault of a student and an alleged plot to cover it up.

Ismael Seals was expected to surrender on a long list of charges Tuesday, but detectives with the Berks County district attorney's office said that never happened.

Seals, detectives said, is now considered a fugitive, facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, endangering the welfare of children, tampering with public records and related offenses.

Seals, 34, of Philadelphia, was working as a behavioral specialist at the Paramount Academy, a school for students with therapeutic needs, in Reading, supervising a class being taught by Teresa Bivens on April 24, officials said.

Certain students in the class were being loud, at which point officials said Seals threatened to "body slam" the next person who spoke.

A short time later, the alleged victim asked, and was granted permission by Bivens, to sharpen his pencil.

As the student stood, detectives said Seals ordered him to sit and then slammed the student against the classroom door multiple times, eventually forcing him into the hallway, where the alleged assault continued in view of surveillance cameras.

Seals swung the student headfirst into a wall and pinned him to the floor, detectives said.

According to investigators, both Seals and Bivens lied to investigators about the incident, falsely claiming that the victim had acted disruptively prior to the attack.

Bivens surrendered to authorities on Tuesday; anyone with information about Seals' whereabouts is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.

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