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Lackawanna County teacher arrested after allegedly placing student in choke hold

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RANSOM TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A Lackawanna County teacher is facing charges for allegedly assaulting a student inside a classroom.

The 13-year-old student told administrators at Abington Heights Middle School that William Yelland placed him in a choke hold during a science class on April 8. According to court documents, the student had just finished taking a quiz. Another student in the classroom had to throw a tissue box at Yelland to get him to let go of the student.

“I absolutely would not characterize it as horseplay. That kind of contact between a teacher and student is inappropriate in any setting. It was most certainly inappropriate here,” said Mariclare Hayes, who is the Assistant District Attorney for Lackawanna County.

Yelland was suspended without pay after the student reported the incident. He was arraigned in Lackawanna County court Thursday on charges of assault and endangering the welfare of children.