Tammy Moore, a second grade teacher at Brentwood Elementary School in Fayetteville, was served with a misdemeanor criminal summons Thursday morning.
According to officials, an investigation began on Oct. 11 after the student told his family that his teacher hit him.
Authorities said the boy had been disruptive in class and was distracting other students.
The 35-year-old teacher told officials that she tapped the student on the left side of his cheek to get his attention so he would sit down and be quiet.
Detectives said the incident is one of the first to be prosecuted in Cumberland County, since the General Assembly passed a law that requires law enforcement to get prior written approval, before charging a school employee with a crime that happened while in the classroom.
Officials with the Cumberland County Schools System told ABC11 that Moore has been suspended from the school with pay. She has been a teacher with the school system since August of this year.
North Carolina law states that principals, teachers, and others may use reasonable force in the exercise of lawful authority to restrain or correct pupils and maintain order.