A special education teacher at Dream Lake Elementary in Orange County, Florida, has been charged with two counts of child abuse after the principal, Gary Schadow, called police upon suspicion of misconduct. Patricia LaMantia, 56, was arrested yesterday after school officials suspected that she had harmed two severely disabled elementary students. The incidents were believed to have happened on Monday and Wednesday, involving two different children.
Apopka police interviewed the children and witnesses who said that LaMantia took one of the student’s arms and forced her to punch herself in the face until she bled. Witnesses say the alleged abuse was in response to the student hiting LaMantia in the arm. The other student was reportedly punished for using foul language and spitting on the floor. LaMantia reportedly grabbed his face and threw him backwards over a chair.
LaMantia was questioned by police but refused to answer. She is on temporary leave from her teaching position while an investigation continues. LaMantia will continue to get paid until a verdict is reached.
Source: Orlando Sentinel