Robert Busan

Counselor barred by Education Department for allegedly slapping epileptic boy, covering his mouth and nose

The counselor and director of a Staten Island, New York, summer program has been barred from teaching by the Education Department after he allegedly slapped a child and put his hands over the boy’s face.

New York Daily News reports that Robert Busan, 64, was arrested on Friday afternoon at Public School 861 after trying to quiet the student with physical violence. Reportedly, Busan slapped the student, then muffled his face to stop him from crying.

“These allegations are deeply troubling and this individual is no longer eligible to work in Department of Education schools,” Education Department spokesman Michael Aciman said.

According to a parent of another child, however, the teacher playfully squeezed the student’s cheeks and tapped his hands playfully during a water fight. When the teacher asked the boy to be quiet, he ran off crying, according to the parent.

“It was more like a tap on the hand than a hit. And he never covered the boy’s mouth or nose whatsoever….He is a great teacher.”

Busan was director of the summer camp managed by the New York Center of Interpersonal Development, a non-profit organization. So far, he hasn’t commented publicly on the issue. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details emerge.

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