Caroline Lee: Woman arrested for SLAPPING student days after being named 'teacher of the year'
Caroline Melanie Lee denied accusations of slapping a child on the face multiple times for which the 60-year-old has been charged and arrested
Florida educator Caroline Melanie Lee was charged and arrested for abusing a student, two days after being honored as 'teacher of the year'. Lee is a teacher at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School in Duval County where she was arrested and charged with hitting a student in the face several times. The 60-year-old has denied striking the child saying she called the student into her classroom to discuss an Instagram post which the teacher felt was threatening. But surveillance camera footage revealed a different story as the student who got a nose bleed was seen leaving Lee's classroom holding her face. The student straightaway made her way to the guidance office from the class to report she was struck.
In related news, a Florida teacher brutally kicked a 6-year-old special needs student in class leaving him with abrasions. Holly Eicher, 62, was charged with child abuse without bodily harm in connection with the incident. Terence Anthony, a primary teacher was suspended from his job after being accused of leaving a student "embarrassed and upset" after allegedly punishing him by making him "sit in his underwear" for speaking out of turn in class. Ian Webber, a PE teacher was banned from pursuing his job for life after smacking a four-year-old kid in the knee.
Caroline Melanie Lee used N-word in class
Troubling allegations against Caroline Melanie Lee don't end at physically attacking the child. The student's woes - who is a minor and hence not named - started after the Duval County Public Schools Instagram account posted a photo of Lee congratulating her for being named Teacher of the Year. A scroll down the comment section of the post revealed several comments asking if she's the same teacher who used the 'N-word' in class along with other microaggressions committed against students the police report said. The post and comments have since been deleted from the page.
Lee told the police the 'N-word' was used when reading the novel 'Of Mice and Men' in class. On October 29 the student entered Lee's classroom after the latter asked to speak with her in private despite the student not being in any of her classes this year, according to the police report. The student told cops that Lee reached across the table and struck her face several times causing her nose to bleed. In the arrest report, it's mentioned that Lee admitted to having a conflict with the student but denied causing physical harm. She said she wanted to talk to the student after seeing the comments on Instagram which she perceived as "threat to kill her." She said she was "not afraid" and "did not feel the need" to report the message to the school. Another student admitted she heard Lee raising her voice on the student.
The students' families were informed by the school's principal Tyrus Lyles about the news. "It is very disappointing, but I am compelled to share with you that one of our teachers was arrested today on campus for child abuse," he said. "Even more disappointing, the teacher arrested is our recent teacher of the year nominee." Lee was arrested on the same day of the incident. Duval Schools Superintendent Diana Greene also released a statement calling the incident "beyond disturbing."
"What is alleged should never occur—ever—especially in a school setting," she said. "I have no tolerance for adults who harm children, especially adults in a position of trust. We will cooperate with all investigations, and pending those results, we will take the actions necessary to stand up for and protect our students.” Lee has been removed from class and will not return till the investigation in this incident is complete.