A Florida judge sided with a special needs teacher who allegedly used hot sauce to stop an autistic student from eating art supplies and recommended the school district reinstate the woman's job.
Lillian Gomez was fired from her job at Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla., in February after school officials found out that Gomez had allegedly put jumbo-sized Crayons in a cup and soaked them for days in hot sauce before moving them to a bag that was labeled with the student's name.
The school spent more than $50,000 in attorney's fees litigating the case, according to ABC News' Orlando affiliate WFTV.
Gomez will not receive back pay and the ultimate decision of whether she will get her job back rests in the hands of the school board.
Todd Cinetti, a parent of a student at the school, said he was astounded the judge recommended Gomez return to the classroom.
"That's ridiculous," he said. " Maybe she shouldn't work with children. Maybe she should find another career."
The former teacher's attorney, Thomas Egan, said his client was only trying to help her student.
"I think she made a bad judgment in the way she went about it," he said. "But her purpose was good."
Gomez' case is not the first in hot sauce punishment.
An Alaska mother of six was found guilty of child abuse for forcing her son to drink hot sauce and take cold showers on a taped segment of the "Dr. Phil" show.
The woman, Jessica Beagley, was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse.
In 2009, a Miami teacher was convicted of abuse after she allowed a special needs student to drink a soda laced with hot sauce.
This disgusts me! Especially readig all the comments on there about how hot sauce never hurt anyone, and how parents used to put it on kids thumbs to keep them from sucking their thumbs. UGH.
The poor child was AUTISTIC! The child does not know better! She didnt soak ALL the crayons in hot sauce, she only soaked that child's crayons. Therefore she was using it as a punishment not a prevention method. She should NOT be a Special Education teacher! I would not want my child in that class at all.
What if the child had turned out to be allergic to hot sauce? On top of that, because the child is special needs, this incident could do alot of damange emotionally.
I think it's disgusting.
Autistic or not, if my child's teacher did something like that I would be FURIOUS.
Quoting MamaCass+3:" I think it's disgusting. Autistic or not, if my child's teacher did something like that I would be FURIOUS."
She shouldnt be a teacher..
my dad would put hot sauce in my brothers mouth anytime he cursed at him.. he isn't scarred for life..
way out of line. shes lucky the kid wasnt majorley allergic to hotsauce.
Quoting Lynsey(::" my dad would put hot sauce in my brothers mouth anytime he cursed at him.. he isn't scarred for life.."
Is he autistic?
Also, big difference between the parent doing it and a teacher.
I mean, I think it's wrong either way, but the teacher really has no place to discipline a child like that. It's abuse.
idk what to think about this.
Uh, it's called redirection, and if that fails, coloring is NOT in the curriculum. He doesn't HAVE to color. -_-
Quoting MamaCass+3:" Is he autistic? Also, big difference between the parent doing it and a teacher. I mean, I think it's ... [snip!] ... I mean, I think it's wrong either way, but the teacher really has no place to discipline a child like that. It's abuse."
I agree.. If anyone was going to do it, it should've at least been the parents.. or with their permission maybe.. I guess it just depends on how you look at it.. Is it abuse if you spray cayenne pepper on you couch to keep your dog from chewing on it? I'm sure some would try to make that argument.. Of course you can't really compare a child with special needs to a dog..
I think it would be different if the parent and teacher got together and said "you know this crayon eating is becoming a huge problem and nothing is working to get him to stop. What can we do?" then they decided to do it together (at him and school). This is called individualizing. But to just do it without parental permission is wrong. but in her defense I am sure she was probably at a loss as to what else to do with the child on the issue. But when this happens you conference with the parent period.
Quoting lolajessup:" I think it would be different if the parent and teacher got together and said "you know this crayon eating ... [snip!] ... at a loss as to what else to do with the child on the issue. But when this happens you conference with the parent period."
^^^this.. I couldn't think of how to put my opinion into words. lol. You described it perfectly.
I wonder how everyone found out she did it. Sick to think she might have bragged to others about her new "teaching" method...
WOW! I would be angry. There have got to be other ways to stop him from eating crayons. Or have him use colored pencils or something of that sort. Teachers should be held even more accountable than parents when it comes to child abuse in my opinion. They are trained and paid to protect and teach our kids, and if they could do something as careless as this to a child so vulnerable, then why should they be in this career, especially working with special needs?
she doesn't deserve her job back IMO.