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Substitute teacher accused of striking Pasco student with yard stick

Evonne Francis, 59, was arrested on Thursday, accused of striking a student at a Pasco middle school where she was a substitute teacher. Francis faces a charge of child abuse. [PASCO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE]
Evonne Francis, 59, was arrested on Thursday, accused of striking a student at a Pasco middle school where she was a substitute teacher. Francis faces a charge of child abuse. [PASCO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE]
Published Dec. 16, 2016

HOLIDAY — A 59-year-old substitute teacher was arrested on Thursday, accused of striking a student in class, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives said Evonne Francis was teaching a class at Paul R. Smith Middle School when she scolded the student, who was attempting to defend a classmate Francis was trying to remove from the classroom.

The Sheriff's Office said Francis called the student, whose age and grade were not provided, a "rude little boy" and asked him to leave, before hitting him twice with a yard stick she had in her hand. Two other students saw the incident, and marks were observed on the child, detectives said.

Francis faces a charge of child abuse, the Sheriff's Office said.