NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. -- The Yulee Primary School paraprofessional who was at the center of two investigations with DCF and the Nassau County School District this year, was terminated at the December 8 school board meeting.
Stephanie (VanZant) Tyler was at the center of abuse allegations that were being investigated by the school district and the Department of Children and Families in September. However, she was cleared of the charges.
More recently, Tyler made a phone call to a former co-worker, the same co-worker who went to the school board to report the alleged abuse from the first investigation. The late night call contained racial slurs that Tyler used against the former co-worker's husband and young daughter.
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Parents who had children involved in the investigation felt only temporary relief when they learned of Tyler's termination.
Stephanie Porter-Smith moved school districts last year after her son's behavioral therapist reported some things that concerned her regarding Tyler's treatment of Porter-Smith's son, but Tyler was not removed from the class room.
"This is still going on, this would have never happened if they had listened to me in the first place," said Porter-Smith. "I sat in a three hour meeting [with school officials] and I said you've gotta get [Tyler] out of there, you've gotta get her out of there. Something's going to happen."
Despite Tyler no longer being employed with the school, Porter-Smith says she would never consider taking her child back to Yulee Primary
Porter-Smith said that she is glad Tyler was terminated, but she is mad that it took so long and upset about the current open investigation concerning a Yulee Primary bus aide. She said this speaks to a bigger administrative issue.
There is a separate investigation open against a bus aide who deals with Yulee Primay students. Two of the same children from Tyler's dismissed abuse allegations are at the center of the bus aide's investigation. The parents of both of those children are upset that the issues with the bus aide were removed from the agenda of Thursday's meeting.
Mark Durham, spokesman for the Nassau County School District said that the bus aide was taken off of the agenda because new pieces of information with the investigation had come up at the last minute. He could not expound on the nature of the details.
Durham confirmed that the bus aide is not working with children, and has been suspended.
James Young spoke at the December 8 meeting asking board members why the bus aide was still a county employee.
"I know she's suspended without pay, but she's still on the payroll," said Young. "You have a video of my daughter being hit, and you want to retrain that lady instead of firing her? That's ridiculous."
Parents of children on the bus want the video to be released, and FCN has requested a copy. However, school officials say the video is considered a student record and not subject to open records.