Special education teacher suspended for spitting on a student but she calls it 'a big misunderstanding'
The teacher insists that the ice was not spit with any malicious intent and also mentioned that the video failed to capture her consistent coughing afterward.
A Texas special education teacher was suspended on Tuesday for spitting on a student after a staff member discovered a video of the incident, CBS reports. According to the report, Tiffany White has resigned from her job at Grand Prairie Independent School District (ISD) after the shocking cell phone video of the incident emerged this week. The video appears to be shot by the student who was spit upon, and does not show what sparked the altercation.
Grand Prairie ISD said in a statement Thursday, “Due to the nature of that interaction, the teacher was immediately placed on administrative leave and will not be returning to the classroom. The safety and dignity of our students is paramount to providing a nurturing environment where students can learn and be successful.”
Grand Prairie Police told CBS Friday afternoon that the school is moving forward with pressing charges against White for "disruption of a classroom", a Class C misdemeanor.
While the parents of the student allegedly spat on are not pressing charges, White reportedly denies spitting on anyone and calls the incident "a big misunderstanding."
“I want to apologize for any misconception that is coming from the video. I just want to make clear I did not spit on a student or anyone," White mentioned in a statement to CBS news. "Unfortunately, I was talking and chewing ice at the same time and slightly choked on the ice and it came out of my mouth. The ice was not maliciously spit nor aimed at anyone. The unfortunate part of it all is the video does not capture my consistent coughing and choking afterwards."
“I absolutely love kids and everything that has to do with helping them become our future. It has always been my passion to be an advocate for kids and because I have a special needs child, I have total appreciation for all avenues of learning. It saddens my heart that people think that I could do such a thing, however my passion and love for Education will continue," she further wrote.
This isn't the first scandal to surface from Grand Prairie ISD. In 2016, another teacher was placed on administrative leave after students discovered that he had previously been arrested in Oklahoma for allegedly making threats to a judge and two attorneys, as Texas Monthly reported at the time. That same year, a missing teenage girl was found in a motel with a former Grand Prairie High School teacher. The police were investigating it as an improper student-teacher relationship, and the former teacher was charged with harboring a runaway, according to The Dallas Morning News.
In 2013, a different Grand Prairie middle school teacher turned herself in to the police after she was accused of killing a 6-year-old boy in a hit-and-run, according to CBS News. She reportedly resigned before turning herself in.