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California special education teacher who deliberately coughed three times on 1-year-old Hispanic boy sacked

The Oak Grove School District confirmed that they had terminated the woman's employment and that the safety of students was their highest priority
(San Jose Police Department)
(San Jose Police Department)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: A California teacher who was filmed last month coughing on a Hispanic toddler because his mother did not follow social distancing guidelines has lost her job with the school district, it has been confirmed. Oak Grove School District Superintendent Jose Manzo had previously confirmed that he was aware of the allegations against "one of our employees" and insisted they "do not tolerate conduct from any employee that compromises any child’s safety."

MEA WorldWide previously reported that the woman in the video, a white female in her 60s, had been unofficially identified as Nancy Norland, a special education teacher with the Oak Grove School District. The disturbing incident had unfolded at a Yogurtland located at 5638 Cottle Road at around 5:30 pm on June 12 and was captured on the store's security camera. In the footage, the older woman could be seen over to a stroller, lowering her mask, and coughing at least three times on the one-year-old boy, who was in the stroller a few feet behind her.

Manzo recently revealed there was "no place in the Oak Grove School District for any employee who would deliberately cause harm to a child" and that "immediate action" would be taken if it was confirmed that the woman was one of their teachers.

Over this past weekend, the district officials announced they had terminated the woman's employment, though they stopped short of officially identifying her. "We want to inform our community that the District employee who was alleged to have engaged in this conduct is no longer an employee of our school district," the statement read. "The Oak Grove School District’s highest priority is the safety of our students and the well-being of all of the children in the community we serve. We do not tolerate conduct from any employee that compromises any child’s safety. As we welcome our students back for learning this summer and in the fall in these unprecedented times, the District’s commitment to creating and maintaining a safe environment for our students is unwavering."

The San Jose police revealed that the woman had coughed on the boy because his mother was not maintaining proper social distance. "The preliminary investigation revealed the suspect was upset the female was not maintaining proper social distancing so the suspect removed her face mask, got close to the baby's face, and coughed three times," Sgt. Enrique Garcia shared.

Click here to watch the video.

Mireya Mora, the child's mother, told KGO-TV in an interview that the woman coughed on her son purposely and that she believed race was a factor in the altercation as well. "Coughing on someone's face. She did it on purpose it's not like she did it on accident, oh cough, cough - no she purposely coughed on my son's face," she said. "It happened so quick I was in shock. She got close, she took off her mask, and she coughed three times super hard on my son's face." The considerably upset mother added, "I believe this woman may be racist because the family in front of her is white. Me and my grandma are Hispanic and she started telling me about my distance and harassing me and my son once I started speaking Spanish to my grandma."