MIRAMAR, Fla. – Nine-year-old Zoe was coming home from school in Miramar with scratches and bruises. The Fairway Elementary School student on the autism spectrum was unable to tell her parents what happened.
Zoe’s mother, Carla Warren, decided to hide a microphone in Zoe’s clothes to capture what was going on in the classroom at Fairway Elementary School. She said what she learned was disturbing.
Warren said when she heard the way the Fairway Elementary teacher was speaking to and around Zoe, she understood why her little girl was exhibiting frequent outbursts.
“They said that she was definitely a lot more aggressive ... a big bruise on her forehead, scratches on her arms, and when we asked where the bruises came from, they said she did it to herself,” Warren said. “With her not being able to tell us what happened; it really put me in a situation where I had no choice.”
One of the recordings captured the teacher’s threatening tone: “Go ahead try me ... Go ahead, try me ... Do you think I am playing with you?”
The audio recording device that Warren had sewn into Zoe’s jacket also captured the teacher’s violent speech.
- “Let her be at my mom’s house ... play with that. She would have a switch, extension cord — off the chain.”
- “She walks past me, run-up, and try to swing at me — hit me. I will say, ‘Hit me again because I’ll slam that little girl on the floor!’”
Broward County Public Schools transferred Zoe to another school and a special investigative unit started to look into Warren’s complaint.
Investigators reviewed the audio and determined that the evidence did not rise to a criminal act. The teacher remains in her position while school administrators evaluate the appropriate corrective action.
Meanwhile, Warren said that during the last three weeks that Zoe has been under the care of a different teacher, she has had no significant outbursts.
More in schools