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Manchester teacher accused of putting soap, pepper in student's mouth

MANCHESTER - A former special education teacher at the Jewett Street School is accused of putting soap and pepper in a 6-year-old's mouth and flicking a book at the child as well.

Donna Varney, 54, of 15 Iron Horse Drive, Bedford, was indicted on three counts of simple assault by a grand jury sitting in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Northern District.

She resigned her position as a special education teacher for grades 1 to 3 on June 30, according to Tracy Mancuso, administrative assistant to Manchester School District Superintendent Debra Livingston.

The incidents took place between Nov.1 and Dec. 30 of last year.

Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Rose-Marie Balboni, the prosecutor assigned to the case, declined comment.

According to the indictments, which are class A misdemeanors that carry a maximum sentence of 2 to 5 years on each count, Varney is accused of knowingly causing unprivileged physical contact with the child when she put soap and pepper in the special education student's mouth and also flicked a book at the child's face.