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St. Joseph – A prosecutor has dropped charges of failing to report child abuse against two school officials in a case where an art teacher threw a chair in his southwestern Michigan classroom , hitting and injuring an 11-year-old student.

Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic announced Tuesday the decision comes after Benton Harbor Charter School Academy’s governing body, Choice Schools Associates, took steps educate those at its schools about reporting child abuse. The principal and assistant principal who were charged participated in the training.

Sepic says a delay in reporting the alleged abuse Nov. 6 “in this case ultimately did not hamper the investigation.”

The teacher, Thomas Barnes, was fired. He pleaded guilty in November to misdemeanor assault and received a 30-day suspended jail sentence, nine months of probation and 50 hours community service.

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