Teacher acquitted of assault, battery against student

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Woodhaven — A longtime Grosse Ile Middle School teacher has been acquitted of all charges related to a May 2016 classroom incident in which he was accused of roughing up a student.

Louis Lafayette, 50, who has been on administrative leave from his teaching job at the school, was charged with assault and battery and fourth-degree child abuse after physically moving a student away from a school light switch turned off by the eighth-grader.

Four other students in the robotics engineering classroom all testified Lafayette was not abusive and only guided the student away from the broken light switch.

“I am happy for my client so he can now move forward with his life,” said attorney Raymond Correll, who said Lafayette, an educator for 25 years, wants reinstatement as a teacher at the school he’s worked at since 1999.

Correll said a jury heard two days of testimony and deliberated less than an hour before reaching the not guilty verdict Dec. 8. The case was supervised by 33rd District Judge Michael K. McNally.