Sunday, August 19, 2012

Teacher Gets Her Job back After Forcing Kids To Eat Crayons Covered In Hot Sauce


A judge in Florida has ruled that Lillian Gomez be given her old job back. Lillian was a special education teacher who had been fired for forcing a student to eat a crayon covered in hot sauce. The teacher says she never fed the boy crayons and only put hot sauce on them to keep him from eating the crayons. The judge believed the teacher and she gets her old job back. The judge said what she did was wrong, but that the school did not make its case. Well, this should be an interesting first day back at school this fall for the teacher.

50 comments:

timebob said...

i just read this story on another site and she didn't get her job back. The school board has to decide that. The Judge ruled she wasn't doing it in malice and should be given her job back.



dia papaya said...

Hot sauce is yummy :)

Special education is the hardest job in the world. Don't know what to believe without reading the full story. But I do know that ever Special Ed teacher I've met is like a saint for what they put up with on a daily basis. And they get crap money to do it too.

nolachickee said...

She was pissed that the boy was eating crayons. So soaking them in hot sauce is the only solution??? I too know special ed teachers. Even with our worship of hot sauce here in NOLA, they would never even think to do this. How about taking the crayons away from the kid? This woman has no business working with children, let alone those with special needs.

timebob said...

agree special education is such a hard job. I have a friend who does it and some (not all) parents just dump the kids off and want nothing to do with them and expect the teacher to be the parent and the teacher.

They run around they can't focus. You couldn't pay me a million dollars to do it. She had one kid the only way they could focus if they jumped on a small trampoline and during class the kid would just get up and start jumping. It was just bizzare. I think the teacher had good intent just bad judgement call.

katsm0711 said...

I don't see how this was a bad idea to soak the crayons in hot sauce. I think it was a good solution! Hot sauce isn't harmful unless you're allergic. My niece has been eating jalapenos since she was 2. I don't agree with what my niece is fed but it's not abuse! How else would YOU get a kid to stop eating crayons that maybe doesn't respond to words or punishment bc of a mental disability I'm assuming? I feel bad for the teacher and hope she does get her job back and parental support. This is so stupid and I bet latinos are laughing at the case.

Manda_kitty said...

We put vinegar on my brother's hands so he would stop biting himself. He was causing his wrists to become swollen. I think we used something spicy at one point because nothing was working, but he liked it. It's just reinforcement. There's more than one type of hot sauce... you really need to know more details with this type of thing.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

Wow! I cannot believe what you guys and gals are saying. Can you imagine if the kid touched their eyes???

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

Florida. Enough said.

Lalaay said...

I admire teachers in this country and even more so special ed teachers. They put up with so much and most of them genuinely care about their student's welfare. Then there are simple and ignorant dumbasses like this one that give the rest a bad name. She should not be allowed to teach anyone let alone a special needs. How is her first thought hot sauce? Like wtf? How about putting them out of reach? What a dumbass!

Kim's World said...

I have no problem with what the teacher did and I'm sure she did take the crayons away but sometimes they have to let kids use crayons.

Lola said...

If she actually gave the hot sauce crayons to him and told him to eat them, she should be disiplined (and maybe fired). If she put hot sauce on crayons that were where they were supposed to be (in an attempt to dissuade him from eating them) that is completely different.

I'm okay with it being used as prevention, but not as punishment.

Frufra said...

I don't get how the kid was supposed to use a crayon that was wet with hot sauce. That doesn't make sense to me. If the crayon's wrapper is all soggy, then how's he supposed to hold it and not get his work all saucy?

Special Ed is the toughest job going. I know nothing about this woman or the district in which she's teaching, but teaching Special Ed without access to the latest resources or teaching assistants ( read - teaching in a poor district) is next to impossible.

In a perfect situation, there would be access to adaptive school supplies that would be appropriate for this child. They make big, chunky crayons, crayon pencils that can't be eaten, etc. I guarantee there's a better solution for this behavior, but she may have been clean at the end of her rope - not an excuse, just a possible explanation.

Robert said...

I was surprised to see a collection box at a local coffee shop that was there so people could donate school supplies--pencils, crayons, notebooks, etc.--to the local school district. That's pretty incredible.

mybrothehero said...

I think the hot sauce was incredibly stupid and it was not done witha student who would eat them out of spite (although, don't have many details to go here so some assumption on my part). And I speak purely from living in Pennsylvania my entire life, so keep that in mind.

Teachers in PA are paid WAY more than what they should and get increases all the time thanks to a strong teacher's union. However as a MH therapist I get kids/teens the teachers can't handle and most areas of mental health have gotten no raise since the 70's. And please do not lecture me with how they have so many other kids at the same time. Although that is an accurate statement, I have a caseload of over 60 clients at any given time that I juggle therapy, collateral contacts, crisis calls with (we only get paid for therapy time, nothing else, even if I spend 2 hours in collateral contacts). This ALSO includes calls from teachers and parents. It's basically to see who blame can be pinned on instead of recognizing the issue and having most of the child's support system involved. It is, unfortunately, the climate of society right now.

Slightly off topic - been dying to bring this up somewhere, and I know many will be disgusted. But re: Joe Paterno and the Sandusky scandal. By PA law, Paterno did NOT due anything wrong regarding his actions (froma legal sense). In PA, either the abuser or the one being abused has to give a firsthand account to the individual for it to be reportable to CYS or ChildLine. Third party statements are seen as heresay. So Paterno did what was correct by reporting it to school officials as he was never told directly by Sandusky or any abuser. It would actually fall to the assistant coach to make a report to CYS/ChildLine. Which did not occur. And the school wasn't exactly wrong legally. Morally, the school was so high off of football (we're Steelers Nation and football is HUGE) they wanted to swept under the rug, then when caught, fired eveyone even someome who did everything they were supposed to do re: mandated reporting.

Also, the way the law is written, grievous or disabling psychical injuries have to occur (or evidence of drugs or sexual abuse) for services to be indicated as "founded" (that abuse occured). I remember once I had a kid covered in bruises, sent them up for photographs right away, and because of no "serious" bodily injury the case was unfounded and closed. I hope that this terrible situation can have some things change so that true reports are taken much more seriously.

Lola said...

OT- I love the word "saucy"

Carry on.

Manda_kitty said...

Oh Yeah, I guess I should add that the vinegar went on his wrists -not fingers. He could touch his eyes and be okay. He was constantly supervised anyways. And we'd wrap a bandana around his wrists so that's what he was actually biting on. Whatever they used that was spicey, was more like a dab. It was nothing soaked.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

@mybrotherthehero -

***In 2007 a bill was passed in the Commonwealth of PA requiring beginning May 28 that all professionals (teacher’s, coaches, therapists, etc.) were legally required to report all suspected child abuse to the police and or to the local children and youth, which prior, only a therapist or a psychologist who suspected their client of being abused had been required by law to file a report (Lovelace 2007).

Lovelace, Brett (2007). PA sex offender law changing. PA: Lancaster Intelligencer. 10 May, 2007.

auntliddy said...

What nola said. I wldnt let her anywhere near my kid. And i'd be checking her credentials, too.

mybrothehero said...

Omamo, that law widens the group of insividuals can report. It does not state anywhere that the information can be reported by a third party. While previously only ceratin individuals may habe been required lawfully to report, that law does NOT invalidate that has to be told firsthand. It simply encompasses more people that are mandated reports.

The "suspection" of abuse, again, falls under the individuals being suspicious because they were informed or a grotesque physical/sexual harm. I have respect for you (and probably share your feelings of the President) and welcome feedback to learn something I wouldnt normally know. However, please do not copy and paste something ina attempt to prove me incorrect on this aspect of social services. Believe it or not, I do know my job, ans whether or not I agree is irrelevant. This would be, for example, if an aunt told me her sister was abusing her (sister's) children. I could report it to ChildLine (as you can google, you can do that if you're not from PA) but the CYS (children and Youth Services" couldn't follow up because it's third hand information. This is, of course, absent that any substantial harm, like a broken arm, was apparent. Additionally, about 2 years ago we can a Commonwealth worker come in and explain what can be reportable and what cannot.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

***@mybrotherthehero - so from my understanding, Paterno should have called cps. However, I do feel he was a fall guy, but that too is coming to light as is the fact that, Sandusky was just the "tip of the iceberg."

As for the teacher's in PA....the problem (mind you from what I've seen during my years here) is that unless we're talking Philly or Pittsburgh.....most teacher's are state educated, have never left the state, and even worse, many have never even left the county of their birth. Toppled with, they are literally NOT teaching these kids to leave. To quote my kid's German teacher during orientation, "These kids need to learn that there is life outside of L_______ County." And yes, my jaw hit the floor.

Talk about "closed communities," and we wonder how this filth was able to persist?!?!

auntliddy said...

My daughter-in-law teaches autistic kids. The parents are just happy to get rid of them fir a while, they dont care what she dies with them. Having said that, she gies out of her way to treat them kindly. In the summer, she brings in fans- thats right, no a/c- cold water, tries to get them out of school to somewhere cool, buys supplies. And when the kids hv to be restrained, she wont use the canvas restraints, she and co teachers psyically restrains them. Many times she is black and blue. So this chick with the hot sauce story gets zero sympathy from me. And if latinos are laughing at this - which i doubt- they are sick too.

chewysmama said...

MYBROTHEHERO- Someone sounds a little jealous OF THEIR LOCAL TEACHERS! Until you are a teacher, you have no clue what it's like and what all goes into it! TO SAY THEY DON'T DESERVE WHAT THEY GET PAID!YOU TRY IT FOR A YEAR AND THEN SEE HOW YOU FEEL!

OMAMA is BROKO said...

///that was copied and pasted from an A paper I wrote on the sub. this past March.



(we must have been writing at the same time)

mybrothehero said...

It would be accurate in saying that anyone that saw sexual abuse firsthard or a wierd situation wpuld be a mandated reporter. From my understanding, Paterno did NOT witness this or was told by a victim or perpetrator that it occured. If he factually did, then yes, he was under obligation to report it. If he did not, he did the only thing that he would legally do by reporting it to administration.

In the previous example, I couldn't report it from an alleged abuser sister's report, but if there's somone in my office making those statements, I'm ChildLining right away, usually with the person in the office with me. The good thing about ChildLine is that's it's in a central data base and "forces" the county to investigate.

This isn't to say this is morally correct, but legally, I don't think Paterno did anything wrong according to mandated reporting. The assistant coach who witnessed and told Paterno is the person that didn't do their job if fthey didn't report it.

And teachers, yes, 100% agree. Teaching in highly lucrative in this state and the vocation most everyone goes into education. That's why I kinda get a little ticked when (in. PA) public education is touted like crazy yet strikes occur every couple years. I do have some empathy for Pittsbugh and Philly teachers b/c there's a good chance they'll get shot.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

OK...I really don;'t think you are correct, b/c from my understanding the person Does NOT need to witness the abuse, just suspect it -for them to be required to report it. So in fact Paterno should have reported it to cps. NOW, did he believe that the school and his bosses were as corrupt as they were/are///probably not. But legally, that is where he was wrong.

mybrothehero said...

I'm not jealous - I simply think that we should get compensated for what we do in social services. How about you take my job for a year? Listen every day to numerous people telling you they were raped at 3, families that fall apart due to addiction, intense problems kids manifest because their parents can't come to an agreement, murderers, individuals that were just released from incarceration, someone who attempts to stab you with a knife when they don't like what you say, worrying after I leave work about the kids I work with? Listening to people who were beaten within an inch of their life (both adults and children), having to work with parents so they can get their kids back from CYS because they take care of them? Or, having to go to a court hearing and explain yourself as an expert witness when opposing counsel would like to portay you as incompetent? No paid holidays, vacation, or personal days? Sure, I'd adore to teach. That way I can have a little less stress about my job.

mybrothehero said...

Omama, no problem if you agree/disagree, but I do know that is the proceedure as I have to follow it every day. First party reports are only accepted to attempt to cut down on false ChildLine reports. At one point we were reporting to CYS any suspection even w/o marks or first hand accounts because we suspected it. That's why a ChildLine representative spoke to our agency and gave is brochures defining exactly what was reportable. So it is in print about the criteria for reporting. I don't agree with it, but that's what is written.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

wait, so House Bill 1264 passed???

B/c PA was one of THE only states to not allow "expert testimony" for child sex crimes.

__-__=__ said...

I truly fail to see why so many people are breeding.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

I'm not trying to disparage you, it's just that, I am the mother of a vic, and I write a LOT of paper's addressing just this issue, of what is happening in PA when it comes to children and their voices NOT being heard. So true, I may not be in the position you are in, but I too, do know my stuff.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

***although the past month and a half I've been trying to NOT write about it, to NOT think about it, as I had to "give it to the Lord....." so I don't know if that House Bill 1264 passed.

Frufra said...

What I'm taking away from all this is that I need to take my degree in early childhood education and move my happy heinie to Pennsylvania. The union sounds all right to me.

Seriously, thanks to everyone who works to make a difference for kids. Let's stand together for the common good of the next generation!

Happy Sunday, everybody.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

yup...I've got to get back to my Excel/Psy work so I CAN get into that grad school and get OUT of this state (Godwilling).

Bless

mybrothehero said...

Omama, when I refer to "expert testimony" that was not in reference to sexual assult/molestation (as I didn't witness it so could speculate) but I do when Children and Youth are involved, for example, and I am called to either give an assessment of the supposed perp (or the victimized children) for fitness in regards to progress in therapy in order for them to be deemed to be safe enough for the kids to return, and I do that because I am following a court order or subpoena. Even at that I can only state observations and recommendations. Professionally I'm pretty tough on the parents because typically that is what the child's best interest is (to be in a family atmosphere that's somewhat stable). Also if anything would occur with an individual involved in an act of violence and we testify our options.

The most difficult are those that commit suicide. That has happened and it still haunts me eben though I know it their choice; I just have always tried to give 200% for the people I see and when someone feels suicide is the only viable. Option, it is so sad and it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Omama - the best thing you can do is be an asvocate and I'm sorry that happened to your child. Believe me when I tell you I'm on your side.

keokuk said...

"I truly fail to see why so many people are breeding."

AMEN

Brown Lori said...

why do these bad adults use hot sauce to punish kids? i've always wondered that. hot sauce....

liteNOTSObrite said...

I'm with you on this one. The teacher just went old school, got creative, and it bit her in the ass. She shouldn't have been fired. Adverse action of some sort? Yes. It was a bad judgment call that should have been run by the parents firat. But fired? No. There were no long term effects. The kid isn't damaged in any way. Parents these days are such wusses. I come from the days of getting our asses beat and cursed the fuck out.

rejectedcarebear said...

I went to school in Pittsburgh. My district was awful and spent millions of dollars on a new football stadium while we were learning from photocopier text books. Yeah they couldn't afford books for everyone so they copied them all. Not surprising was the fact that they also ran outta paper. Teachers were not paid well at all, some of mine really phoned it in. I know someone that graduated from my high school that read at a third grade level. She graduated with honors and she can barely read or even spell!

Ice Angel said...

I have washed my children's mouths out with soap. Is that bad? I've heard of hot sauce for discipline. If you aren't physically harming the child, put them in no danger and are creating a negative experience as a result of undesireable behavior, why is this wrong? It sounds to me, however, that this teacher was simply trying to protect the child from himself. If she would have allowed him to continue to eat the crayons, she isn't doing her job. If she doesn't allow him to use the crayons, she isn't doing her job. I am sure he isn't the only child in her class. So what do all of you propose? And it sounds to me that she didn't force him to eat crayons-she was actually trying to accomplish just the opposite.

So those of you against her, do you.honestly think what she did rises to the level of he losing her job, after years of hard work getting her education and her willingness to take a job that MOST would never consider??? How about a disiplianry action, suspension, an apology and a chance to redeem herself by discontinuing the practice?

I don't know of her other job performance, but of she's a good teacher with a good record and otherwise seems to care for the children, I can't understand why everyone is making her a villain.

Pini 27 said...

As someone in education, I will admit that there are many who prove the adage "those who can't, teach". Just as there are more who are dedicated, overworked and yes - UNDERPAID. But an educator is trained and hopefully prepared not to allow frustration to drive them to committing a traumatizing act like putting hot sauce on crayons. Had that crap gotten in the child's eyes, I think he would have been even more disruptive. As to @mybrothehero - your contention that teachers are paid too much - in your case yes, your english teachers were paid way too much. Your transparent attempts to impress with an endless stream of intellectual analysis and prove the validity of your argument goes out the window when your post(s) are a throwback to the era before spell check and make me wonder if you wrote your post in another language and used babel fish to translate it into English just for kicks. I would normally never be that aggressive in expressing my opinion, but I DESPISE people who must attack others to prove the validity of their own position. Yes, mental health workers are woefully underpaid and frankly Teacher's Unions do protect many that should be drummed out of the profession (case in point). How about arguing the fact that this country needs to re-assess how much and who are paid what, so that those who are TRULY qualified are in these essential and extremely stressful professions?

dia papaya said...

Thank you Omama and mybrothehero for sharing your stories!

EleanorRigby said...

I agree that teachers are NOT overpaid. Most work nights grading papers, and weekends lesson planning and spend way more money (out of pocket) than the district has allotted. A local district has slashed its yearly classroom budget to $50 per teacher. Anything a teacher needs for his or her classroom must rely on grants, mercy of involved parents, or most likely end up buying it themselves. You think fifty bucks is going to buy school supplies for a classroom full of kids? Think about how many lessons a teacher plans out. Unless he or she is just reading from a book, I would HOPE that they would have objects to engage students of all learning styles. So supplemental teaching materials for 9 months of school. 50 bucks should pay for that, right? /end sarcasm.
The thought that teachers anywhere are overpaid just infuriates me. And no, I am not a teacher.

mybrothehero said...

Pini, yes, my spellling is atrocious and I cringed when I read after the post would be published. However, please know I am writing this on my phone and a lot of the time I'm not even aware that they typos are there.

Frankly, your statements about the way I talk are personally insulting because I actually do speak that way in "real life". I have never denied I am a geek, but I'm certainly not better than anyone else; I'm on the same level with anyone (as long as they're noft pathological liars or serial murderers, other than that, it's kosher). For someone who isn'tnormally "nasty" you're doing a great job of it.

I talk strictly from my own experience. In Pennsylvania, with a bachelor's, you can earn a great deal of money (not first year, granted, luckily it doesn't stay at the same rate). I'm completely for that, but when teachers go on strike every year their contracts are renewed and demand more money, more paid time off, and the like, it brings the education process to a screeching halt. Every. Single. Time. I'm not even exaggerating on this one. So the kids start school later, get frusterated about having to go later, and all around, it's not good. Keep in mind I live in one of the poorest counties in PA where a bachelor's level teacher with a couple years' experience can make over 30-40k (a ton of money for this area).

Myself, my undergrads were English and psychology (hence my understanding of one's frusteration as my fingertips hit the wrong keys) and an MS and postgraduate work to earn and maintain my licensure. At least 5.5 to 6 years. I start out at a much lower rate and although I have been incredibly blessed with a good job, I still don't make as much as teachers. I am also required to have continuing education credits (just like teachers) however, my con ed I pay for out of my pocket. Supplies, such as workbooks, treatment plans, supplies for play therapy? All of those I pay for. I did my Praxis I and II as well as the National Counselor Exam. All I paid for.

I'm not jealous; I don't want to be a teacher. If I did I could have, and because of how highly valued a position teaching is, I have a lot of friends that are. Before school starts and/or ends. I listen to friends' frusterations. Personally, I hear many teachers complain about their profession. Mainstreaming is a real problem and funding being cut so that early childhood intervention and preschools and HeadStarts are negative consequences (and what I disagree with because those services really *are* needed.

mybrothehero said...

The above DO NOT JUSTIFY teachers' compensation that are raised every contract year. Because teachers can't go against their union, I know several people that want to go back to work but are unable to cross picket lines due to ramifications. In fact, increasing teachers' salary forces their raises to come from somewhere. So they cut special needs programs, and early childhood education. I'm unsure why so many people are upset with me about stating this because it's the @laws of cause and effect. It is also unfair for administrators to get large salaries that are atrociousoly higher than those who teach.

Honestly, I have much respect for teachers and I'm ecstatic when someone loves their job as much as I love mine. However, when a friend of mine complains about their teaching position, it is invariably followed by "...but at least I don't have your job."

Maybe it is purely a PA thing, because I know other areas where teacher salary is terrible. However, the number of comments, ranging from mildly rebuking to outright insults, is not the kind of community I thought this was when I decided to post last week. This is my first board I've ever posted to (I've always read celebrity gossip for years, it's my vice; I freely admit that). Now it appears that all is well until someone disagrees with the mindset of vocal members. To that end, this will be my last post, as it really doesn't seem to be a welcoming place for healthy discussion. I have had more than enough sadness and drama in my life due to illness and other people to go somewhere where I like to zone out and type my own opinions, based on my experiences, and to be insulted and be called jealous, ect. I'm surprised and disappointed by this, and seeing I am not masochistic, it is better for me to do just that. Although several people have not been kind towards me, I honestly wish nothing but the best. (Also, please forgive that this message in in two different ones. I had to cut the rest of what I said due to space immitations just so no one could say "your formatting is atrocious and that proves that you don't know what you're talking about."

mybrothehero said...

Thank you, dia, but as I stated below, I'll probably not post again because the atmosphere appears to be everyone is on terms until someone, especially new, states an unpopular opinion. (Not everyone, but many). As many years as I've been reading this I had an overall seemingly nice, friendly, supportive individuals which is why I posted in the first place. I'm not saying that isn't still true, however given my statements were harshly criticized by several people, includimg equating my intellectual ability to my typos (which I can understand frustration about that even though it can be kind of difficult to type on a phone and I always type a lot) and the words I use to express my point were also commented on, it is the way I actually talk. I don't get drama-mama (too much of that by others IRL). Lastly, I know it difficult to understand how one means certain statements without voice inflection, verbal cues, ect, and I am a woman that can admit I'm not correct all the time, but these responses have amazed me. Be well.

mybrothehero said...

I agree with you on the reassessment, it's actually an excellent idea. However, my "transparent" attempts of "intellectual analysis" as well as insulting my typos as a means to degrade my statements (although have been an English major as an undergrad I can certainly understand that). I actually talk this way. I also see a large majority of the county I live in (the poorest in PA) illiterate as adults because in many cases (not all, though) their teachers "passed them to become the next teacher's problem". I guess what I see is that while a lot of educators I know being determined to prove that being a teacher is the most important profession to society (again, from my own and surrounding counties) that many times the students' needs are ignored, and in the end, a student in that kind of environment doesn't benefit from it, and unfortunately, they pay the price in the long run after they graduate and can't read or even write cursive, and thus are ill-prepared to handle the "real world".

Lola said...

Don't go, mybrotherthehero. I'm sorry for what you've experienced; I actually personally know what you're talking about. Alas, being a veteran of message boards, it's like this to some degree everywhere. There are always the bitchy-ass people who view this as "their" territory...and god forbid you disagree with any of the favorites.... It used to be a lot more chill around here.

My advice is say what you want, ignore the nasties and have fun with the nice, welcoming people (new and old). Try not to take anything too personally, even when it can seem very much so. People will say things behind computer screens they would never say in real life.

There. I've probably offended oodles of people.

I'm truly sorry more people werent welcoming.

crila16 said...

This story sounds a little crazy. Why not just take the crayons away? I also have to agree with Omama...kids touch their face and their eyes. Hot sauce could have gotten into the child's eyes. How about something like Sally Hanson nail bite for children instead? It's not harmful to the child and it tastes really bad.

Maja. With a J. said...

I'm late to the party, just wanted to say I'm surprised nobody made a "I put that Sh*t on everything!" - joke.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

@mybrotherthehero - I don't think you should leave. I always mispell (heat of passion baby, no spell check) and I also always say sh*t others often don't agree with.

I understand though, b/c I am also sensitive, but I think you should know, I am not anti you either. I just felt you were wrong about Paterno's legal responsibility. That is all. I don't dislike you. In fact, I admire you for sharing all you did.

Please reconsider staying.

Bless