Authorities in Collier County say 47-year-old Barbara Margaron, who is a substitute aide for the Big Cypress Elementary School in Naples, Florida, was arrested Thursday for slapping a blind male student across the face.
According to the WINK News, surveillance footage captured the moment the substitute teacher slapped a blind second-grader last week in the cafeteria after he continued to nudge his lunch plate back and forth. She was seen pushing it back to him before allegedly "slapping him so hard that you could hear it across the room."
A school employee, who was working in the cafeteria during the time of the incident, immediately notified the school principal and an investigation ensued.
This isn't the Collier County Public School District's first issue with the substitute teacher. It was reported that back in May, Margaron was under investigation of the Department of Children and Families for a similar incident. However, the case was closed when they were unable to find evidence.
As a result, Maragaron was able to continue working as a substitute teacher for CCPS.Parents were outraged after learning the teacher was accused of committing the same act, stating that if "more would have been done" during the first investigation, maybe Margaron would not have been given the opportunity to do it again.
Collier County police stated that not only is the boy blind, but he uses a walking cane as well. He was assigned a substitute aide to guide him throughout the year.
Kathleen Alvarez, whose three children attend Big Cypress Elementary School, stated that "coming back with her history, I'm surprised she was even employed, and I'm kind of perturbed at the fact that she was allowed to be around children."
Alvarez went on to say that she would often see the school aide with the boy – who she is accused of slapping – saying, "I see them every morning in breakfast. She takes him for breakfast. I think it's sad because I see the child, the child is very small; he's very dainty. He has an aide of a walker."
School administrators stated that as soon as they were notified that the substitute teacher allegedly slapped the blind boy, they "acted fast" and told her to leave the building immediately, reported NBC-2 News."This is disgusting in every way. I cannot believe she had a case back in March and CCPS still let her be an aide. I wish I was in the cafeteria when this happened. I wonder what she had done before this when no one was around," Lili Bertuna wrote in a Facebook post.
"And what caused the kid to be so upset he didn't want to eat. I pray she gets what she deserves. To think the poor baby didn't see it coming, so helpless. It breaks my heart to the fullest."
"If a person can't have self-control and become physical when he/she gets upset, that person should not be working with children, especially special needs kids. When a child is having a meltdown or is disruptive, there is always a behavioral teacher with the degree and training to deal with those issues," another Facebook user, Eli Diaz, wrote.
"The woman had done it in the past and somehow they still let her be around children. Unbelievable! Start thinking if she had the audacity to do in the cafeteria. Can you imagine what she has done when no one was looking?"The substitute teacher was arrested Thursday on battery charges with a $50,000 bond.
She no longer works for the Collier County Public Schools and has to make her first court appearance on November 30.
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