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Manning, SC (WLTX) - A Holly Hill teacher accused of assaulting a student was found not guilty but is still without a job.

Two months ago, a Holly Hill teacher was arrested for what officers call "simple assault" involving a young student.

Lionel Stukes,63, was put on administrative leave with pay because officers say he hit a student walking to class

"They said I could resign or be terminated," said Lionel Stukes.

Back in March as classes were changing, surveillance video shows Lionel Stukes and a young student in the hallway. Holly Hill Police says he hit the girl and was charged with assault.

Stukes says that's not what happened.

"You have a lot of activity and a lot of movement and I am a person who talks with my hands and I might have said "child let's move on to class now" but there was no intent whatsoever to harm anybody."

Following the incident, Stukes was placed on administrative leave with pay.

On April 5th, a month before the trial, he received a letter from a lawyer representing Orangeburg District 3 asking him to resign or face termination.

"I was given no courtesy whatsoever; everything was directed towards the family and the child. I was just told to go home."

Now after being found not guilty, Stukes is without a job. He thinks that the district and school administrators over-reacted with this case.

"It was very shocking and my family has been through a lot with this situation and it's caused a lot of consternation with our family."

He says his job is to provide for his wife and children, with that being said; he wants to still teach but is not certain about re-applying to Holly Hill Middle School.

"I really have mixed feelings. I have gotten a lot of advice and they have said no. But that is going to be a very difficult decision. There are a lot of good people at the school, you can't just dwell on the negative, and there are a lot of good kids, a lot of good teachers and good administrators."

If Stukes does not return to Holy Hill Middle, he says he believes God will open another door for him.

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