- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia special education teacher is accused of cruelty to children after police say she held an autistic boy upside-down by his legs and lowered him head-first into a trash can.

An arrest warrant says Mary Katherine Pursley told the second-grader that if he had “trashy behavior” like the Sesame Street character Oscar the Grouch, he would go “to the trash can.”

Cobb County School District police state in the warrant that another employee witnessed Pursley place the boy into the trash can at Mount Bethel Elementary School outside Atlanta on April 30.

Cobb County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Gates says Pursley is on administrative leave with pay.

Cobb County Jail records show she faces a felony charge of first-degree cruelty to children. Jail records list no attorney for her.

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