ROCK HILL, S.C. -- A popular teacher could get jail time or fines after allegedly assaulting a third grade student inside Rosewood Elementary School in Rock Hill.
Police say the 9-year-old victim has bruises on her arm where Daniel Johns, 35, grabbed her and lifted her up off the floor and then escorted her into his classroom.
Police describe those bruises as a hand and fingerprints around that girl's left arm.
Johns, a third-grade teacher at Rosewood, is charged with assault and battery. He has been suspended with pay from the district while officials conduct their own internal investigation. That investigation is expected to include interviewing Johns, the student, and the principal.
Captain Mark Bollinger with Rock Hill Police says Johns grabbed the girl after he counted to five and the girl still didn't respond.
"He counted, she didn't do it and so it's my understanding he reached down, she was sitting on the floor, he grabbed her real hard, got her up and escorted her to his classroom and apparently had a hold of her so hard and in such a manner that it left some pretty good bruising," Bollinger said.
Police say the girl is not one of Johns' students, but Wednesday was his turn to be the hall monitor in the third grade area.
The principal saw the bruises and called police. District officials say the principal felt Johns went too far; plus it's their job to protect as well as educate kids.
The district says it has received numerous calls in Johns' support.
"He's a very good teacher, my daughter enjoys being in his class, he's very patient, very kind," said a parent who didn't want to be identified.
Parent Michael Golden has a first-grader at Rosewood and says Johns should have known better.
"He has no business touching a child. At that age, he should have reported it to the principal," Golden said.
"He could have stopped her without pulling on her, especially hard enough to bruise her," said Billy Wilson, a grandparent who picks up his grandchild at the school four times a week.
NBC Charlotte went to Johns' house but he was not there and we did not get a response after attempting to talk to him by phone.
Johns is due in court next month.
He's been with Rock Hill Schools since 2002.