A 13-year-old Fairfax County student, who was found not innocent of assault for knocking a teacher to the floor after she slapped him, was released from a detention facility yesterday after an emotional court hearing, according to informed sources.

The court ruling against Ivan J. Wilkins, a student at Walt Whitman Intermediate School, was made during a closed hearing Monday in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Wilkins had been ordered held in a detention facility until a July 10 sentencing hearing, sources said. School officials said the teacher was reprimanded.

Yesterday, after Wilkins' attorney asked Judge Gaylord L. Finch during a second closed hearing to reconsider his decision to detain the youth, Wilkins was released to the custody of his mother until his sentencing, the sources said.

Wilkins' three-day detention angered some who say race was a factor.

Wilkins is black; the teacher, Stephanie Weddle, is white.

"Well, reprimand, hell, this boy has been incarcerated," Glenwood P. Roane, president of the Fairfax County branch of the NAACP, said yesterday outside the courthouse. "It seems to be an overzealous effort to prosecute a 13-year-old kid based upon a charge that was actually precipitated by the {teacher} herself."

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said the maximum penalty for assault and battery, a misdemeanor, is a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

However, he said, in the juvenile system, where children are found "not innocent" rather than guilty, the maximum penalty is unlikely to be assessed on a first offense.

Horan said he was prohibited from discussing specifics of the case because of confidentiality restraints involving a juvenile, but he did respond to the complaints of racism: "The reality is that regardless of the color of those involved, it's a brutal assault. It's always been our position that if you deck a teacher, you're going to be prosecuted for assault . . . . Color has nothing to do with it . . . . "

In a letter informing Angelia K. Wilkins that her son had been suspended for 10 days because of the incident, Walt Whitman Principal Eugene U. Jordan explained what happened:

"He {Ivan} was confronted by Mrs. Weddle concerning his cutting into the lunch line. He refused to give his name to the teacher and dropped his salad. He refused to pick it up. She followed him out of the salad bar room. As she scolded him, she used her finger to gesture. He told her not to point at him, and he pushed her hand aside. She responded by slapping him in the face. He then struck her in the face, knocking her to the floor . . . . "

Jordan said yesterday that he could not comment on personnel matters or the letter.

Weddle could not be reached for comment. School spokeswoman Dolores Bohen said Weddle had been reprimanded but would not comment further, saying personnel information is privileged, including details about length of employment and whether the teacher was injured during the incident.

NAACP President Roane freely acknowledged that Wilkins, who is "He's never been in any trouble whatsoever."

-- Angelia Wilkins

5 feet 11 inches tall, "plowed" the teacher, but he added: "I think it was totally justified."

Wilkins' attorney, Melvin T. Axilbund, said he could not comment on the case.

Asked about school policy on discipline, Bohen said School Board regulations state that "in no case shall a principal or teacher slap a pupil in the face or otherwise strike about the face and head with a hand, book, or any other object . . . . "

"I just feel that I wasn't treated fairly, and they should have taken more out on the teacher," Ivan Wilkins said yesterday after his release.

"It was a racism thing," said Angelia Wilkins. "He's never been in any trouble whatsoever."

Fred Plumb, a supervisor with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, took time off from his job in the District to testify yesterday on behalf of Wilkins. Plumb, 28, who is white, coaches Wilkins at the West Potomac Youth Association, which is not affiliated with the county school system. He said he believes Wilkins' treatment was racially motivated.

Plumb described Wilkins as a B- student, a basketball captain and someone who "always impressed other coaches." Sitting outside the courthouse yesterday, Plumb said "he's just your average everyday 13-year-old who happens to be in a 6-foot frame . . . . It doesn't seem like anything fair has been done here. After all, this is 1987."