A former Pickerington Local School District aide accused of striking students and squeezing "pressure points" in their necks during recess lost his credentials at a recent Ohio Board of Education meeting Oct. 16.

Matthew R. Coyle, 30, voluntarily surrendered his pupil-activity permit in August and is permanently ineligible for a new one, according to public records.

The board took formal action Oct. 16 to accept the surrender of his permit.

Coyle resigned from his position at Harmon Middle School in December 2016 after being informed his employment might be terminated, according to records obtained by The Columbus Dispatch.

He was placed on paid leave in November 2016 and an investigation ensued. He had been working in the district since 2012.

In the records, students said Coyle had been "slamming them to the ground," "smacking them in the head," and "punching them in the gut."

A sixth-grader reportedly was given ice by a school nurse to apply on a pinched neck.

"The safety of our students is our first priority in Pickerington schools, and under no circumstances would we allow children to be placed in harm's way," district spokesman David Ball said in an emailed statement.

"We take any allegations against staff members seriously, performing an immediate and thorough investigation when concerns come to our attention."

awidmanneese@dispatch.com

@AlissaWidman