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Teacher speaks out after suspension

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Updated: 11/13/2013 11:53 pm
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."
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Jagsrule012 - 11/14/2013 5:59 PM
0 Votes
I am in a classroom close to hers. She has never been anything but a sincere and caring teacher. The students that she works with are self contained students. While they deserve every right in the world, I have seen personally that she would not touch them in any harmful way. I also know many of the paras in the classroom and many care for these children as much as their own. Good luck to you Mrs. Hardie and we will be praying.

Joycerooker - 11/14/2013 8:49 AM
1 Vote
That teacher just happen to be one of my child's teachers.. Some of the kids are not able to communicate as well as others or are told not to say anything which they believe is right because the were taught to respect authority.. So what happens to protect these children? Should be cameras in all classes and every inch of school property.

citizenmama - 11/14/2013 8:48 AM
1 Vote
I am shocked by any allegation that Mrs. Hardie would hurt anyone, let alone a student. She is one of the most loving, caring people I have ever met in my life. I can only believe that there has been a horrible mistake.

Joycerooker - 11/14/2013 8:46 AM
0 Votes
These kids are handicapped, let one touch mine and see what happens... And you are a stupid ignorant fool for that comment...your not a truth seeker... Do you have kids?

Truthseeker - 11/14/2013 4:27 AM
3 Votes
Parents today do not raise their kids to respect any sort of authority so it is not surprising that these teachers get fed up and take matters into their own hands. Parents, if you don't want your kids disciplined at school, teach and discipline the little brats at home before you send them out in public.
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