JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A teacher is telling her side of the story to Action News after she was suspended for striking a student.
Darrell Cope knows it can be hard to work with kids in the classroom
"I worked with kids for a long time, and sometimes teachers get frustrated. I know there is a no-striking policy," said Cope.
As a parent, he agrees with that policy -- frustration shouldn't be taken out on children. According to documents, those policies were violated inside the Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center. The documents say a teacher is accused of striking a student with a book and a stick, and even leaving students in time-out for almost an hour.
A paraprofessional in the same classroom is accused of pouring water over a student's head and stomping on the student's foot. One witness told investigators the teacher made the comment, "What goes on in this classroom, stays in this classroom."
Action News went to the teacher's home to get her side of the story. Nancy Hardie's husband invited Action News into their house. Visibly upset, Hardie didn't want to go on camera but told us, she would never do anything to hurt the students in her class. She has been a teacher for 42 years and said she has worked with many of these developmentally disabled kids for up to 10 years. She maintains she didn't do anything wrong.
Both the teacher and paraprofessional were suspended without pay for 30 days. The teacher told Action News she's not sure if she will go back to the classroom.
The district sent Action News a statement saying, "The District's Office of Professional Standards launched an investigations into reported conduct of two employees at Palm Avenue Exceptional Student Center. Following a comprehensive review, the Superintendent recommended and the Board approved suspension without pay for 30 days. This is consistent with the Progressive Discipline policy we follow and enforce. We expect and demand all educators to serve our students with quality care, respect, and dignity. If or when they ever fail, as evidenced by these reported acts, they are held accountable. Please know that this behavior does not represent the leadership and service of the more than 8,000 teachers who serve Duval County students each day."