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June 06, 2024

Two Covington-Area School Employees Arrested For Cruelty to a Juvenile

The Covington Police Department announced today (June 6, 2024) the arrests of 44 year-old Catherine Mumphrey, a teacher, and 71 year-old Lauren Brenckle, a paraprofessional, on charges of cruelty to a juvenile. The arrests stem from an incident captured on camera inside a Students with Exceptionalities (SWE) classroom that involved a juvenile with disabilities.

On May 28, 2024, the Covington Police Department received a report regarding an incident at E. E. Lyon Elementary School, 1615 North Florida Street, in Covington. Upon investigation, detectives determined that two employees had engaged in what amounted to battery on a vulnerable student.

The arrested individuals are each facing a charge of felony cruelty to juveniles. Mumphrey and Brenckle are no longer employees of the school system.

In this particular case, the presence of cameras in the SWE classroom proved invaluable. Due to the nature of the victim's communication abilities, the video footage played a critical role in capturing the incident and expediting the investigation.

The Covington Police Department sincerely thanks the St. Tammany Parish Public School System for its cooperation throughout this investigation. Their swift action and commitment to student safety were instrumental in ensuring the child's well-being and bringing this matter to light.

"Student safety is our top priority, and this type of behavior is absolutely unacceptable," said St. Tammany Parish Public School Superintendent Frank Jabbia. "We took immediate and appropriate action in this situation and are committed to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment in our schools for all of our students."

This incident is unrelated to a previous investigation at the school. Click here for a similar incident last month. The investigation into this matter is ongoing, and no further details will be released at this time. 

"The Covington Police Department is committed to protecting the safety and well-being of all children in our community," said Chief Michael Ferrell. "We take allegations of abuse against children very seriously and will thoroughly investigate any such claims."

***All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty***

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