Soldier barred from volunteering at local elementary school

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GATESVILLE, Texas (KWTX) A Fort Hood soldier has been barred from volunteering at Gatesville Elementary School after officials investigated a parent’s complaint that he injured a third grader when he turned the boy’s head in order to get him to walk in the opposite direction during a PE class.

(Photo by Rissa Shaw)

The boy was taken to a doctor and the State Department of Family and Protective Services is investigating.

The parents of the 9-year-old boy also complained that the unnamed soldier made disparaging remarks about U.S. Marines after two students mentioned they had relatives serving in the Marine Corps.

The parents, who asked not to be identified, said the soldier told the students: "The Marines are stupid" and that "when they go to war to die, they (the Marines) leave the bodies there so the Army can step on them and not get their boots wet."

"As a result of a recent allegation involving a Fort Hood soldier and Gatesville ISD, GISD launched an investigation," Gatesville Superintendent Eric Penrod said in a statement Thursday.

"Upon its conclusion, GISD has made a decision to deny this specific individual any future ability to volunteer,” he said.

“That said, this situation does not reflect on the thousands of volunteer hours many soldiers have dedicated to GISD and surrounding districts,” Penrod said.

“We welcome the positive interactions that Fort Hood provides Gatesville ISD. Again, we are very sorry for this specific situation, but Fort Hood remains a positive partner with Gatesville ISD."

The boy’s parents said the soldier was on campus as part of the Adopt a School program, but Fort Hood officials said the soldier was actually volunteering at the school on his own rather than with the Fort Hood unit that adopted the school.

"The Fort Hood School Liaison Office is aware of this situation and is working to gather the facts toward resolution with the school and the parents involved," said Tom Rheinlander, director of Fort Hood public affairs.