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Posts Tagged "special"

Teacher Has Duty To Supervise Physical Contact Between Children In Classroom

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Teacher Has Duty To Supervise Physical Contact Between Children In Classroom

WFTV.com revealed more information about what was happening in the Mims Elementary School classroom in the Florida child sexual abuse blog entry I posted yesterday. First, it appears that the Brevard County Schools investigators are ready to admit that inappropriate touching did take place in the classroom. However, it appears that the touching did not involve an adult – the touching was going on between the children. The first year teacher who was supposed to be in charge of this kindergarten classroom has apparently resigned. As a child sex abuse attorney, I have to wonder what the teacher was doing to control her classroom, and what kind of support this first year teacher was receiving from the Administration at Mims. Even a first year teacher should know that school-age children should not be touching each other in class, or playing show-and-tell with body parts. When a teacher does not know what is going on in her classroom, or fails to do take measures stop inappropriate touching, the teacher may be exposing her employer to liability for negligent supervision. This story seems to be getting more interesting by the day. I am curious to learn what Brevard County Schools is doing to help these...

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Was Teacher’s Assistant’s Abuse of Autistic Child Isolated and Unanticipated?

Posted by on Feb 27, 2013 in Child Sexual Abuse

Was Teacher’s Assistant’s Abuse of Autistic Child Isolated and Unanticipated?

A report on the clickorlando.com website indicates that Jacqueline Zuniga, a 39-year old teacher’s aide at Pine Ridge Elementary School in Clermont, has been arrested on charges of child abuse. According to law enforcement, Ms. Zuniga was assigned to work with special needs children, including a child with autism. Apparently, the autistic child hit and bit her. At that time she suggested that she might retaliate if he kept doing it. A few minutes later, as the child lay on the floor, Ms. Zuniga picked him up by the arm, and threw him five feet away into a wall. The child hit the wall so hard he was knocked unconscious. Although the school reportedly immediately removed Ms. Zuniga and placed her on leave, as a Florida child abuse lawyer, I think there are still questions that need to be answered. For example, I would be curious to know what kind of special training Ms. Zuniga had received before being placed in a special needs classroom. In my experience, teachers with special needs training rarely threaten their students with retaliation. Generally, they are specially trained to anticipate that autistic children may act and get physical with them. Under no circumstances is it ever appropriate for a teacher or teacher’s aide to throw a child across the room. The Lake County School Board could be held liable for any damages caused by Ms. Zuniga’s reported actions. Hopefully, they will see fit to make sure that other special needs teachers and teachers’ aides receive proper training to deal with autistic...

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