Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School Board Suspends Two Teachers for Misconduct; One Gets 30 Unpaid Days for Corporal Punishment; Other Is Given 15 Days for Recording Girls Fighting

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

School Board Suspends Two Teachers for Misconduct; One Gets 30 Unpaid Days for Corporal Punishment; Other Is Given 15 Days for Recording Girls Fighting

Article excerpt

Byline: Denise Smith Amos

Duval County's School Board Monday suspended two teachers for misconduct.

One teacher received 30 unpaid days for allegedly using a yardstick to physically punish students. She has been in trouble with the district before over child discipline allegations.

The other teacher was suspended 15 days for allegedly video recording two kindergarten girls fighting without stopping it.

In that case, teacher Kristin Walker at Reynolds Lane Elementary was accused of taking out her cellphone and video recording two 6-year-old girls arguing in her classroom in late February.

According to Walker's written statement, the class had just returned from the library and she was about to teach a math lesson when two girls "began getting loud with each other."

Walker told them to be quiet and sit, but the girls ignored her and began pushing and hitting, she wrote.

"Both students have displayed physical aggression in the past," she wrote. "The fight began to escalate to scratching, hair pulling and pushing."

Walker said she called for help while video recording "because I was not sure where this fight would go or how long it would be until someone arrived to provide assistance.

"I did fear for the safety of the students because two times (a student) lifted a chair above her head as if she were going to strike" the other student, Walker wrote.

Walker said the fight was over in less than five minutes, but it took three more minutes before someone came and removed one of the students. That student returned 15 minutes later, Walker said.

"Luckily, both students had recovered and acted as if nothing had happened," Walker wrote.

The district, which said the videotape was two minutes long, found Walker at fault because she did not stop the fight even after a student picked up a chair and because she video recorded the students.

"Ms. Walker never attempted to prevent, intervene or stop the physical altercation," the district's investigative report says.

The Division of Child and Family Services investigated and found Walker inadequately supervised the students. …

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