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Mesa Middle School teacher on leave following alleged altercation with student

Mesa Middle
Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 26, 2023

A local middle school teacher is on administrative leave after she was arrested following an alleged altercation with a student.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office, at around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Mesa Middle teacher Sarah Watts, 42, reportedly pulled a hairbrush from a 13-year-old female student's hand, leaving the student with visible injuries.

Their report says Watts also threw paper at a group of middle-schoolers, which left the same student with a cut on her temple.

San Luis Obispo-based defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu, who is not affiliated with this case, says if Watts is convicted on the charges, the severity of repercussions could vary.

"You can go to jail for up to one year for misdemeanor child abuse, but for felony child abuse you can go to prison for years," Funke-Bilu told KSBY.

He says if Watts is found guilty of the charges, a judge will likely impose a restraining order between her and the student and could require her to undergo a 52-week child endangerment class.

On Wednesday morning, KSBY News reporter Jacob Dizon spoke with Watts over the phone, but she said she would not be able to interview until she consulted with her attorney.

Both the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office and the Lucia Mar Unified School District declined our request for interviews.