A Roane County High School teacher Michael Burch, 49, is scheduled to go on trial in February on a criminal charge of battery involving a student.

Burch has already served a suspension imposed by the Roane Board of Education after the October 19 incident.

A criminal complaint says a female student was in Burch's 8th grade science class when Burch allegedly put his hands around her neck and shook her.

Burch claimed it was done in jest, with no malicious intent.

The female student and another girl reportedly were playing with a balloon when it popped.

Burch said, according to the complaint, "You popped my balloon ."

Burch had been suspended in another case in 2016, the school system not releasing the reason, saying it was a confidential personnel matter.

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