A former Loudoun County elementary school teacher has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault stemming from two alleged incidents in her classroom last school year.
Lynne Wine, 55, a second-grade teacher at Aldie Elementary School, retired from the school system in June. She had been teaching in Loudoun for 34 years.
Wine was accused of assaulting the 8-year-old in her classroom in April, according to Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokesman Kraig Troxell. During the investigation, she was accused of assaulting another 8-year-old in September 2003.
A spokesman for the school system said Wine had not been in the classroom since the accusations came to light.
Troxell said he would not discuss the nature of the two incidents, citing the legal process and the age of the students.
The children were injured but did not require medical attention, Troxell said.
A man who answered the phone at Wine's home said she would not comment. School Principal Joyce Hardcastle also declined to comment.
Aldie Elementary is one of region's smallest schools, enrolling fewer than 100 students. Penny Walker, the school's PTA president, said Wine's second-grade classroom had 16 students at the start of the school year -- two of them Walker's twin daughters. Walker said that Wine was a beloved teacher and that most parents rallied around her after she left school abruptly.
"My girls absolutely loved her. They had nothing but warm and wonderful things to say about her every day they came home from school," she said. "She lived for teaching. It was her true passion."
Walker said Wine taught in the same classroom where her mother, also a longtime teacher, had taught.
She said other parents were never able to discern exactly what Wine was accused of doing. Troxell said that an investigator interviewed all children who witnessed the two incidents and that at least one occurred at the back of a classroom and possibly out of the sight of other children.
Sylvia Donovan, whose son was in Wine's class last school year, said she was shocked by the charges.
"I find it very hard to believe she'd ever do anything to her students, because she loved her students and loved the community," she said. Donovan said she feared that the charges would divide the small rural community.
The maximum penalty for misdemeanor assault is a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Wine, who turned herself in to authorities yesterday afternoon, was released hours later on a $5,000 bond.
She is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.