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|08-19-2012, 09:15 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Nation Of Hip Hop
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Special ed teacher 'fired for force-feeding autistic student crayons soaked in hot sauce'
A Florida judge has recommended this week that a local teacher be reinstated after losing her job for allegedly disciplining a special needs student by forcing him to eat crayons dipped in hot sauce.
Lillian Gomez was fired from Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee back in February after district officials said she soaked Play-Doh and crayons in the spicy condiment to punish an autistic boy in her class for eating art supplies.
A document obtained by the TV station WFTV shows the school district spent $50,000 in legal fees trying to keep Gomez out of the classroom.
Gomez has not been allowed in the Osceola County school since officials found out about the alleged incident last October.
In June, the teacher had her day in court, asking to be reinstated, and on Friday, the judge sided with Gomez.
Gomez has denied ever force-feeding the student and said she only used the hot sauce to prevent him from eating the crayons.
According to district officials, Gomez first placed jumbo-sized crayons in a cup, then poured hot sauce over them and she later moved them to a bag and labeled it with the student's name, and let the art supplies sit for days.
A judge has ruled that while her behavior was inappropriate, the district failed to demonstrate that Gomez’s intent was to punish the student.
‘I think she made a bad judgment in the way she went about it but her purpose was good,’said Gomez’s attorney, Thomas Egan.
According to the court ruling, Gomez will not receive any back pay, and the final decision regarding her reinstatement will be up to the school board.
Todd Cinetti, a parent of a student at the school, said he was astounded the judge recommended Gomez return to the classroom.
‘That's ridiculous,’ he said. ‘Maybe she shouldn't work with children. Maybe she should find another career.’
This is not the first time hot sauce has made national headlines as an instrument of discipline.
In 2009, a Miami teacher was found guilty of abuse after she allowed a special needs student to drink a soda spiked with hot sauce, according to ABC News.
In another case, Jessica Beagley, a mother of six from Alaska, was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse for forcing her son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers on a taped segment of the Dr. Phil show.
|autistic , crayons , fired , forcefeeding , hot , sauce , soaked , special , student , teacher|