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Former Jonesborough Middle School special education teacher arrested after indictment

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, TN (WJHL) - A former Jonesborough Middle School special education teacher is in jail today, charged with misdemeanor assault following a grand jury indictment. Deputies arrested Larry Manis this afternoon, roughly a month after a parent of one his alleged victims spoke out at a school board meeting, upset with the way the school district handled the situation.

Washington County Sheriff's Office Capt. Larry Denny says at the sheriff's office request, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office arrested Larry Manis today. Court documents reveal the Washington County Grand Jury indicted Manis on a charge of misdemeanor assault in July. According to Capt. Denny, Manis lives in Sullivan County.

The grand jury presentment reads, "Larry Manis on or about the 31st day of October, 2013, in the State and County aforesaid, did commit the offense of assault by intentionally or knowingly hitting (a juvenile) across the back of the head, and a reasonable person would find that contact extremely offensive."

The grand jury presentment is signed by First Judicial District Attorney General Tony Clark.

Daniel Stiel and another parent filed a police report against Manis in October, accusing the teacher of physically laying hands on their kids.

After learning of those complaints, administrators suspended Manis for alleged unprofessional conduct. He eventually retired before the district could fire him.

Before news of the criminal charge today, the district previously told us internal and DCS investigations found no wrongdoing.

Our Community Watchdog investigation last month revealed at least four cases where parents have accused Manis of crossing the line.

Jeana Abueida was the most recent parent to file a police report, but that only came after a teacher's assistant recently told her she filed a complaint against Manis in September, accusing the teacher of grabbing her son by the neck and pushing him up against a filing cabinet, among other things

Although the Washington County school system says it found no wrongdoing in that case, our investigation revealed the district never notified the parent of the complaint. Instead, she found out from someone else roughly 10 months later.

At the school board meeting last month where Stiel spoke up, Director of Schools Ron Dykes maintained the district has handled the Manis situation appropriately.

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