Saturday, November 6, 2010

Florida autistic boy bitten by substitute teacher at school

From WPTV in Florida:

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A 6 year-old boy, diagnosed with severe autism, was bitten in his own classroom at Belvedere Elementary in West Palm Beach.

"This is upsetting to us, this is the first time this particular substitute has worked in this school, and I believe in this district," said Nat Harrington, Public Information Officer with Palm Beach County Schools.

According to the school's principal, it happened in front of two other teachers, who quickly reported the incident.

It is unclear what happened to provoke the attack, but the school said the teacher bit the 6 year-old in the arm.

"We do have enough evidence to indicate that there was inappropriate behavior on the part of a substitute teacher," said Harrington.

The man, whom school district officials refused to identify, was filling in for a speech teacher in a special needs classroom.

"There is a police investigation, and there's also an employee investigation, those have just been launched," said Harrington.

After learning what happened, the principal escorted the man out of the classroom and told him he would never step foot in the school again.

The principal says he replied saying: "You don't need to pay me for today, you'll never see me again."

"We are dismissing this person and he won’t have any future employment with the school district," said Harrington.

School police are currently questioning their suspect.

"I can't believe that school is the best school, I think this is the first time this has happened," said one parent picking up her children Wednesday.

According to the child's mother and grandmother, he is very scared and even though he cannot say how he feels, he will not let anyone touch his hand.

The boy's mother said he will not be returning to school.