Elementary teacher suspended without pay
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida teacher is in trouble and now suspended without pay. She's accused of mistreating an autistic child and perhaps other students in her care.
"That was out of place," said Deandra Poythress. "No matter how hard it is to deal with a child, I think you just don't need to be in that position of you can't deal with a child, don't take the job."
If the Broward County Superintendent has his way, Stirling Elementary teacher Vivia Bromfield will be out of a job. Bromfield, a special needs teacher, is accused of using a chair to restrain a 9-year-old autistic boy.
They're called Riftin chairs and according to the company website, they are used in classrooms often for some autistic children. According to the complaint, the use is "not to exceed 15 minutes." On April 4, "a few minutes after 11 a.m. Bromfield belted the student into a second Riftin chair. The child was left in the chair until after 1 p.m."
The complaint also said, earlier in the year, two students were left in another type of equipment called Standards for over 70 minutes. Bromfield was given both written and verbal notice stating it was inappropriate to have any student in a non-prescribed Riftin chair. Also, on one occasion she was unaware a student was missing from class. On another occasion, a student swallowed staples during her class.
But stories like these are not entirely unheard of. A little boy's teacher at Tedder Elementary in Deerfield Beach took a plea deal after putting him in a storage closet. A Broward school bus aid was fired and then arrested back in October after he was caught on camera choking an autistic boy.
Now this teacher was suspended without pay. "If the school has come to the point to where they're ready to fire her," said Poythress, "there are standard protocols that a person should follow, and if they've gotten to that point, then obviously she's crossed that line."
According to the complaint, the teacher responded that she only put the child in that chair so she could work one-on-one with him on his coloring activity. Bromfield was unavailable for comment. The Teacher's Union also declined to comment.
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