Student assaulted by staffer at Paramount Academy in Reading

Seals (2)

Seals

A Behavior Specialist at the Paramount Academy in Reading is charged with assaulting a 17 year-old student at the school, and a teacher is charged with lying to police about the attack.

The incident occurred on April 24, 2014 at the Paramount Academy located at 1700 City Line Street, Reading, Berks County. The Paramount Academy is an educational facility for students in grades six through 12 that require therapeutic needs that cannot otherwise be efficiently provided for in a traditional education environment. Students are referred to Paramount Academy by the Reading School District.

The victim was attending class taught by Teresa Bivens. Investigators say Ismael Seals, employed as a “Behavioral Specialist” for the Academy was present to help supervise the students. Other students were being loud in the classroom. Seals ordered the class to be quiet and then threatened that the next person who spoke would get their “body slammed” through the door.

Bivens Teresa (2)

Bivens

A short time later, the victim asked Bivens for permission to sharpen his pencil. Bivens gave the victim permission to do so. When the victim stood-up to sharpen his pencil, Seals ordered him to sit-down. It was then that Seals allegedly attacked the student. Seals reportedly grabbed the victim and slammed him multiple times against the classroom door, forcing him into the hallway. Seals continued his assault on the victim in the hallway by pushing him into the wall while holding the victim’s shirt. Seals swung the victim headfirst into the wall and pinned the victim to the floor.The part of the incident that occurred in the hallway was caught on surveillance cameras.

Seals is approximately 6”4” tall and approximately 280 lbs., according to the report. The victim is approximately 5’8” and 162 lbs.  The victim sustained scratches and bruises to his upper torso.

Both Bivens and Seals submitted incident reports to Paramount Academy. They also submitted to audio/video recorded statements to detectives a few days later. Investigators say both lied and blamed the student for being disruptive.

On May 2, 2014, Ms. Bivens gave detectives a second interview. This time, she admitted that her first interview and report was false. She backed up the victim’s version of the assault. She told detectives she had lied on the original report because she was prompted by her “higher-ups” to clean up the incident when submitting the original report.

Bivens and Seals were charged with the following:

Ismael B. Seals

  • Aggravated Assault (F1)
  • Simple Assault (M1)
  • Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Tampering With/Fabricate Physical Evidence (M2)
  • Tampering With Public Records or Information (M2)
  • Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Endangering the Welfare of Children (M1)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Intimidation, Retaliation or Obstruction in Child Abuse Case (M2)
  • Person required to Report Suspected Child Abuse (M3)

 

Teresa A. Bivens

  • Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Tampering With/Fabricate Physical Evidence (M2)
  • Tampering With Public Records or Information (M2)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Unsworn Falsification to Authorities (M2)
  • Intimidation, Retaliation or Obstruction in Child Abuse Cases (M2)
  • Persons Required to Report Suspected Child Abuse (M3)

Bivens turned herself in this morning. Seals is expected to do so later today. A Paramount Academy spokesman says Seals was fired in April. Bivens was terminated today.