Thursday, April 19, 2018
Education

Embattled Hillsborough special education aide is back on the job

TAMPA — Longtime special education aide Michelle Brown is back at work after being cleared of allegations she mistreated children in her last classroom assignment at Buckhorn Elementary School.

Brown, 49, was assigned to Wilson Elementary School in Plant City on Jan. 15, according to school district records.

While at Buckhorn, she was accused four times in 2013 of either handling children improperly or joking that she had. She was reprimanded for the joke but cleared of the other allegations.

A letter from the district's Office of Professional Standards shows Brown avoided touching children, even to guide them, after the first investigation.

"The teachers you were assigned to this year had not witnessed any inappropriate behavior on your part," wrote professional standards manager Joe Perez.

The classroom teacher who raised concerns about Brown, meanwhile, is no longer with the district. Jodi Myers resigned in December, shortly after the Tampa Bay Times learned she had pleaded no contest in a forgery case in Pennsylvania.

Myers, who told the Times she had done nothing wrong, did not disclose the matter to the school district as required.

She declined to comment when contacted last week, and Brown did not return a call for comment.

The Times reported in October on the troubled backgrounds of both educators, who clashed when they shared a classroom at Buckhorn.

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