Parents looking for answers after alleged teacher abuse

UPDATE, 4/22/14: The teacher accused of inappropriate behavior has been removed from the school, according to parents.

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti released the following statement on the matter:

"As an update on the Biltmore incident, based upon additional information received during the investigation, I have decided to remove the teacher from the school effective today. Earlier today, the teacher was not in the classroom and instead reported to the media center as the investigation continued. The preliminary information received on Thursday and Monday did not justify the teacher being removed from the classroom."

Original story below:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- She's 5 years old and speaks in a very soft voice, but when asked what happened she can not only explain but show you.

"The teacher choked me," she said, placing her hands around her neck.

Now that alleged improper behavior has become the focus of a Department of Children and Families investigation. Her parents, Reginald Hurst and Myesha Roundtree are still in shock.

"We were actually sitting down the the table having dinner and then the call came," said Roundtree. "Do you know about the allegations of a teacher choking your child?"

According to a police report, the 5-year-old is the potential victim of allege abuse by a kindergarten teacher. The report states the teacher choked the child and investigators were advised the teacher also touches her when she uses the bathroom.

"I have not had a satisfactory explanation from the school," said Roundtree.

The teacher works at Biltmore Elementary, the parents said they were surprise to learned about the allegations from DCF, instead of the school where the child attends.

"This is serious. Why would you want to keep the parents out of what's going on?" asked Reginald Hurst.

Hurst said they learned of the allegations on Good Friday. He said the school has moved the five-year-old to another classroom, but what they would like the school to do is get rid of the teacher.

"I don't ask her about it," said Roundtree. "It makes me sick. When I do, she sticks to the same story."

Hurst and Roundtree are now waiting for DCF to complete its investigation

"I just want justice done for my daughter," said Roundtree.

"This is an active investigation," said Marsha Oliver, Chief Communications Officer for Duval County Public Schools. "By law we are prohibited from discussing the allegations."

Oliver said as always the school district's goal is to conduct a thorough review when such allegations are made and if they're found to be true there is a system in place to handle it.

John Harrell, a DCF spokesperson, said they are investigating the allegations, and said these are still allegations.

"We are looking for evidence in the allegations of inappropriate discipline and improper conduct," said Harrell. "We will talk with students, parents and the teacher's co-workers."

He said that DCF typically would recommend to the school system that the teacher not be in the classroom as they continue the investigation.


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