Florida substitute teacher accused of threatening a classroom full of third graders
No one’s denying that being a substitute teacher on your first day is tough work, but if you can’t take the heat — get out of the kitchen. And definitely don’t tell a bunch of third graders you’re going to let someone in the room to “shoot them between the eyes” if they don’t behave. Yes, this really happened.
The 61-year-old substitute teacher in Volusia County Florida was fresh off her teacher training and on her very first day of the job as a substitute teacher at Turie T. Small elementary school. Just a few hours into the day last Thursday, she allegedly told her classroom full of students she would let a bad man into the class to shoot them all if they didn’t start behaving.
The classrooms have doors that open to the outside of the school. The teacher allegedly dangled the keys in front of the students and said if they wouldn’t calm down, she would let someone in to “shoot them between the eyes.”
According to WESH, every single student in the classroom relayed the same story. The substitute was removed from class and escorted off campus. Nancy Wait, a spokesperson for the school district, said everything in the teacher’s background check was “clear.” Wait also said the teacher had previously worked in extended after school care without any problems and simply can’t explain what she calls the sub’s “extreme lack of judgment.” WESH reports that substitute teachers in Florida need only a high school diploma, three days of training, and a clear background check to be in a classroom.
This is terrible. As parents, we’re struggling to explain lock-down drills and violent people to our children without completely terrifying them. Enter this woman, who clearly has no business around a group of children, possibly affecting their trust in authority figures for a long time. How do you process something like this as a child? Being threatened with violence by an older lady tasked with simply making sure you’re learning a few things while your teacher is gone.
Hopefully this woman is being stripped of her ability to ever stand in front of students again. But in a state where you can be paid as a substitute teacher after merely three days of training — we probably shouldn’t hold our breath.