Polk County special education teacher charged with battery

Investigators said a Polk County special education teacher used excessive force against at least two students in her care.

Thursday, police arrested Deborah Alexander Alford, 58, at her Etowah, Alabama home. The Cedartown Police Department became involved in the investigation, after officials from Westside Elementary School notified them of an internal investigation into Alford. A school resource officer reviewed security cameras from the cafeteria and hallways

“It alarmed him to the extent that he thought he needed to open a criminal investigation into the incident,” said Chief Jamie Newsome, Cedartown Police Department.

That surveillance video and witnesses statements were presented to a grand jury last Friday. They determined there was enough evidence to issue a warrant for her arrest.

“It’s on more than one occasion. I reviewed the videos myself, and without going into specifics of what I saw, I concurred with my officers findings,” said Chief Newsome.

Alford was on leave from the Polk County School District since the allegations surfaced. She was booked into the Polk County Jail on cruelty to children and battery charges.

Chief Newsome said it is unclear if there are any other victims, but that the investigation is on-going and those will be things they look into to see if there was a pattern.