Connecticut Math Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Using Chokehold on Three Fifth-Graders

(Norwalk CT Police Department)

A female Connecticut math teacher has been arrested after a failed martial arts demonstration led to a fifth-grader passing out.

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Stefanie Sanabria, 50, is accused of using a defensive jiu-jitsu on three of her fifth-graders during school hours at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk. She was arrested at her home in Danbury shortly after the allegations, which involved the school nurse treating the child who fainted.

Per Norwalk police, Sanabria has been charged with second-degree strangulation, first-degree reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.

Given that Sanabria teaches math, it’s unclear why she was showing jiu-jitsu to the students. Fortunately, no one was harmed beyond the passing out, the school indicated in a statement.

“We determined that a teacher was demonstrating defensive holds to students, and a student fainted during that demonstration,” a school spokesperson said in the statement. “‘Fortunately, the student did not sustain any permanent injury.”

Stefanie Sanabria

(Norwalk CT Police Department)

Sanabria has since resigned from her position, according to reports.

“They were demonstrating jiu-jitsu moves to some of the students in the class who had volunteered to do that,” Lieutenant Joseph Dinho of Norwalk Police told ABC7. “So this was not a call that we usually get every day. The student regained consciousness, the reports says, within seconds.”

Police also released a general statement explaining the incident, naming Sanabria.

“The Special Victim’s Unit immediately began investigating the incident. The investigation revealed that Stefanie Sanabria, who was working as a Math Coach, demonstrated a martial arts chokehold on three fifth-grade students in class,” the statement read.

“‘Based on the Special Victim’s Unit investigation, an arrest warrant was issued on March 3, 2023, for Sanabria. Once the warrant was issued members of the Special Victim’s Unit and Patrol Division, with the assistance of the Danbury Police Department, arrested Sanabria at her residence.”

She is being held on a $20,000 bond and due to appear in court on March 10.

Read More: Man Arrested 35 Years After Estranged Wife Found Dead in Trunk of Car

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