MASON, MI (WILX) -- News 10 has received new information regarding what a Mason teacher said happened in his classroom on the day one of his students accused him of assault.
Mason High School teacher Paul Kato was accused of assaulting a student at the school when she claimed he ripped off her Trump pin and wouldn't give it back to her.
News 10 obtained the police interview of when Kato and his attorney voluntarily told police exactly what he did that day in question.
In the report, Kato said he has always had a fun, joking teacher-student relationship with Sadie Eargood, who was the student who accused him. He said the class is a digital media class so politics are often discussed and everyone's opinions are expressed.
He also said that Eargood walked into class that day pointing out her new pin and the two laughed and joked about it, according to the report.
He admits he did take the pin off of her jacket and put it on his own chest upside down, but he believed it was all in a joking manner as the two have had discussions about their political differences before, according to the report.
In the report, Kato also said he never touched any part of her body and said he wasn't trying to harm, offend or injure her in anyway. He said there was no aggressive behavior between either of them.
Kato said he did give her back the pin after a couple of minutes and didn't think there was an issue until at the end of class, he noticed Eargood had left, according to the report.
Kato also said other students had told him she had posted something on social media.
After interviewing nearly 25 people, the Mason police turned over their investigation to the Ingham County Prosecutors office, which denied any criminal charges in the case.
They said the chose not to file charges because there is no credible evidence of criminal conduct.
Mason schools said it investigated the incident and have taken proper disciplinary action against the teacher.
“While not criminal, the teacher’s actions were inappropriate and misrepresented the mission of the district,” says Ronald Drzewicki, Mason Public Schools Superintendent. “MPS staff are role models. Our core values include respect, responsibility and compassion. We expect all MPS staff to model these values in interactions at school, especially with students.”
On Thursday, Dec. 19 Mason Schools released a statement to News 10 regarding the situation:
"Following an investigation by the Mason Police Department, the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office declined to press criminal charges in the matter. Mason Public Schools officials have completed their internal investigation and have disciplined the teacher appropriately."
News 10 did speak with Kato's attorney who said he is expected to return to school soon and is looking forward to doing so.
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