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Former Fulton Teacher Accused Of Abusing Students

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File photo of a teacher in a classroom full of students. (Photo by FRANK PERRY/AFP/GettyImages)

File photo of a teacher in a classroom full of students. (Photo by FRANK PERRY/AFP/GettyImages)

ATLANTA (AP) — A Fulton County grand jury has indicted a former special needs teacher accused of abusing students.

District Attorney Paul Howard’s office said Wednesday 34-year-old Melanie Pickens is charged with cruelty to children and false imprisonment. Prosecutors say she physically abused five students at an Alpharetta middle school between 2004 and 2007. She resigned in 2007.

A lawyer for Pickens did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Prosecutors say the students were pushed, shoved into lockers and left in isolation for hours at a time.

Prosecutors say the alleged abuse of one student was discovered in 2007 and was handled as a human resource matter. A civil suit involving that victim led to the discovery of four other potential victims. Law enforcement was notified and a criminal investigation was launched.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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