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Teaching assistant in Hamburg at Randolph Academy charged

A teaching assistant at Randolph Academy in Hamburg has been charged with abusing a student at the school for special needs children.

Sean Callaghan, 54, of Salamanca, was also charged with making false statements about the incident in official school records, according to Special Needs Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning of the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.

Callaghan appeared Friday in Hamburg Town Court.

He was arraigned on misdemeanor charges including criminal obstruction of breathing, endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree falsifying business records, as well as second-degree harassment, a violation.

Callaghan was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court March 10.

The charges against him stem from an alleged incident at the school on March 31, 2016, in which Callaghan allegedly pushed a student into a wall, holding the student by the neck for some time. Callaghan was also alleged to have made false statements in the school’s records about the incident.

“While the victim in this case was not injured, applying pressure to a person’s neck can quickly lead to unconsciousness and is potentially lethal,” said Gunning in a statement.

“School personnel, like this defendant, who attack at-risk youth in their care will be held accountable,” she added.

Randolph Academy provides educational services to students with emotional and behavioral needs.

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