Florida Teacher’s Aide Allegedly Gives Special Needs Student A Wedgie In Front Of The Class, Gets Fired

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

A teacher’s aide who allegedly gave a special needs student a wedgie in front of the class was fired from the St. Petersburg, Florida, school Tuesday.

Pinellas County School Board voted 7-0 to fire Dominique Armstrong on Tuesday, according to ABC Action News. Armstrong sent a resignation letter on Monday, though district officials denied it because it wasn’t sent by a predetermined deadline.

School records show that Armstrong grabbed the special needs student by his pants, pulled up his underwear and allegedly said to students, “look, [boy’s name] has a wedgie” on Sept. 12, ABC reported. The boy overturned a table outside of the school after leaving the classroom upset. District records indicate that Armstrong denied pulling the student’s pants.

Armstrong had other complaints citing excessive force in the past. One of the accusations was in March 2017 where no evidence was found. Another complaint occurred in March 2018 where she grabbed a student by the shirt, according to Fox 13.

Screenshot/Courtesy of Pinellas County Schools

Screenshot/Courtesy of Pinellas County Schools

Records also show that Armstrong allegedly forcibly removed a student from a school bus on Sept. 5, Tampa Bay Times reported.

“She was allowed to stay in the classroom because we believe in fairness of our employees,” Pinellas County School spokesperson Lisa Wolf said, according to Fox 13. “And we want each claim to be fairly investigated.”

Armstrong also told a school official, “I am not doing anything today” after she was found drawing and on her cellphone in the classroom on Sept. 21, according to school documents. She was asked to leave the school for the day, but refused to do so.

Wolf told The Daily Caller News Foundation over email that Armstrong “had been disciplined one previous time for excessive force separate of the board agenda item.” She clarified that this disciplinary action was for an incident in September.

District files show that Armstrong said she would sit and watch the students, but her job was not to teach them. (RELATED: Georgia Middle School Student Allegedly Stabs Teacher With 8-Inch Butcher Knife)

Armstrong violated six policies, according to the recommendation file to dismiss Armstrong. The policies were “Failure to perform duties of the position,” “inappropriate or disparaging remarks to or about students, or exposing a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement,” “failure to correct performance deficiencies,” “insubordination,” “misconduct” and “failure to comply with board policy.”

The teacher’s aide’s employment history with the district dates back to March 1, 2017. Her annual salary was close to $16,000.

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