San Benito teacher charged with assaulting middle school student

Justice of the Peace David Garza

A San Benito woman accustomed to being in charge in the classroom found herself in front of a judge Thursday, charged with assault by contact involving a student.

Actually shook him or grabbed him in a manner that was inappropriate and that would be the accusation at this time, said Cameron County, Precinct 3-2 Justice of the Peace David Garza,

According to the Probable Cause Affidavit, Sandra Tumberlinson, a teacher at Berta Cabaza Middle School, assaulted a student on campus because of the style of hair he had.

The student claims Tumberlinson grabbed his left forearm, applied pressure and pulled his arm while escorting him to the office.

"The child felt evidently offended by the accusations from the teacher, said Garza. He talked to the parents about the issue.

The parents turned around and filed a complaint or written statement to the San Benito CISD Police Department.

San Benito School District Police started an investigation and submitted the case to Justice of the Peace David Garza.

We went through the case and concluded the was sufficient probable cause to proceed with the case. Said Garza

Garza issued Tumberlinson a summons instead of an arrest warrant.

The defendant appeared before the court and entered a not guilty plea.

Action 4 News spoke to Tumberlinson via phone. She told Action 4 News she had no comment at this time

But we've learned this isn't the first time she's been investigated for a similar incident.

"Back then there was a discrepancy filed by the law agency, said Garza. So it did not pan out. But this time around the case was well put together.

Action 4 News also spoke to the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District, who issued this statement:

The San Benito CISD is reviewing these allegations. Since the issue involves a personnel matter. The district cannot disclose any further details at this time.

Sandra Tumberlinson is out on a personal recognizance bond. Because it is a class c misdemeanor, it is a fine only offense.

The maximum she would pay would be $500.

Sandra Tumberlinson's husband is a school board member in te district.

A pre-trial hearing for Tumberlinson has been scheduled for a future date.