Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando school district investigating report teacher pinched autistic student

BROOKSVILLE — A teacher at Eastside Elementary has been pulled from the classroom as officials investigate allegations that she pinched the cheeks of an autistic student to get the student's attention, possibly on more than one occasion.

Lisa Studer, 49, is accused of grabbing the boy's cheeks and pulling him toward her, according to a Sheriff's Office report that quotes a state Department of Children and Families abuse report, which was not immediately available. "Red marks were left on both sides of (the student's) face."

The Sheriff's Office found that criminal allegations of abuse were unfounded. But the school district is still investigating.

An unidentified adult female witness reported the incident to school officials.

The woman said she witnessed Studer "place her thumb on one cheek and her forefinger on the other cheek and squeeze (the student's) face," the deputy's report said. "She redirected towards her own face. It is believed that this was in an attempt to get attention due to his autism."

The incident occurred in December, the sheriff's report said, and "possibly occurred more then once."

The investigating deputy spoke to the student, who was born in 2004, and his mother. The mother was unaware of the allegations and said the boy hasn't shown any evidence of abuse. The boy "could not advise of any incidents in which the teacher has laid hands on him," according to the sheriff's report.

Studer said she could not recall grabbing the student.

"She also advised that she does not put her hands on the children in any way for discipline reasons," the deputy wrote.

A DCF official could not immediately confirm that the agency is still investigating. Studer is working in the school's front office until the district's inquiry is completed, said Joe Vitalo, president of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association.

Hernando school district investigating report teacher pinched autistic student 05/06/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 6, 2010 1:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.