A substitute teacher at a Daytona Beach, Florida, elementary school has been charged with felony child abuse for allegedly hitting a special-needs student with a book.
"You hit her; I hit you," 25-year-old Madison Anthony allegedly said.
The incident began when one special-needs student reportedly hit another student with a book. Anthony retaliated by taking a book from her victim's hands, walking around a table, and hitting the student with it, according to a charging affidavit acquired by ClickOrlando.
The child's mother wants to press charges, according to the same outlet.
The disturbing incident allegedly took place at Champion Elementary School in an "exceptional student education" classroom. Florida's Department of Education describes the purpose of ESE classrooms as "help[ing] each child with a disability progress in school and prepare for life after school."
A staff member approached a school resource officer to report witnessing Anthony strike the student. Anthony and two other teachers were assigned to the same classroom because the special-needs students in the class require extra resources, ClickOrlando reports.
Ms. Anthony was booked late Thursday evening for allegedly violating Florida's child abuse statute. She was released on recognizance, without bond, late Friday afternoon, per Volusia County's Division of Corrections' records.
"After learning about this unacceptable incident, the substitute teacher was immediately removed from the Volusia County School’s list of approved substitutes," according to a Volusia County Schools statement acquired by ClickOrlando.
"Consequently, this individual will no longer be employed by Volusia Schools. Volusia County Schools continues to place the utmost importance on the safety and security of all students and staff. A secure and sound learning environment is crucial to our student’s success. It is our goal to always maintain this standard," the statement concluded.
As of Tuesday morning, Ms. Anthony remained listed as a "Sub Teacher" in the faculty and staff section of the school's website.
Anthony is due in court for an arraignment scheduled for February 21, according to the New York Post.
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