Teacher Accused of Feeding Hot Sauce-Soaked Crayons to Autistic Child Being Reinstated

ReasonReasonA judge has ordered that a special needs teacher in Florida who was fired after she was accused of feeding an autistic child crayons soaked in hot sauce be reinstated. 

From ABC News:

A Florida elementary school teacher who was fired for feeding an autistic child hot sauce soaked crayons is being re-instated on the orders of a judge who rejected the school district's appeal to keep her out of the classroom.

Lillian Gomez was fired from her job at Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee, Fla., in February 2012 after school officials found out that Gomez had allegedly put jumbo-sized crayons in a cup and soaked them for days in hot sauce before moving them to a bag that was labeled with the student's name.

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  • ||

    Sounds like a great teacher. If I had kids I'd want them in her class, or maybe I'd hire her for tutoring. I mean, what's not to like about tormenting an autistic kid? It shows the kind of character public schools want in their teachers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Really, her talents are wasted in teaching. How is she not a cop or a political appointee?

  • Hugh Akston||

    I was just thinking that if this teaching thing didn't work out for her, I'm sure CIA or local PD has an opening for a sociopath who uses physical force to enforce norms on harmless transgressors.

  • Loki||

    I'm actually shocked they tried to fire her. I'd have thought they'd offer her tenure for life after tormenting an autistic kid. And in such a creative way, I mean who would have thought of feeding him hot sauce soaked crayons? Isn't that exactly the kind of outside the box thinking they should be encouraging?

  • Brett L||

    This is why teachers need unions. Those horrible administrators (am I really defending a principal?) don't understand the effort and creativity demanded of teachers in the most mundane situations such as a child eating crayons. Obviously, the proper solution was to give him non-non-toxic felt-tip pens.

  • Zeb||

    Seems like we are all assuming that the autistic kid didn't enjoy the hot sauce soaked crayons. Do we know that that is true?

  • waffles||

    There's something missing. This doesn't seem like a nefarious plot to poison some poor child. But rather an attempt to use a dog training technique to prevent the child from eating crayons. The only emotion resembling outrage that I can muster is dismay that this creative educational professionals isn't given more freedom to experiment on autistic children.

    Of course without the full details this is all speculation. And if it were my child I would have her hanged. But again, speculation.

  • Brett L||

    And if it were my child I would have her hanged.

    Nah, just as she only set the child up to abuse himself, I think she should merely have her limbs shattered with a hammer and left to die, rather than actively killing her.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So then I guess you two want autistic children eating crayons. Unmarinated, tasteless crayons.

  • playa manhattan||

    Wax crayons aren't going to take much flavor since they're waterproof. If the teacher was serious about this, she would have melted them and blended in cayenne.

    Or she could just pepper spray the student ever time he put a crayon in his mouth.

  • Zeb||

    I had about the same thought when I read this. I doubt she intended to be cruel. Though it was a dumb idea and not something that should be encouraged in public school teachers. Seems obvious that she was trying to get him to stop eating the crayons.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Isn't her real calling police work? Or are psychological issues better suited to tormenting children rather than adults?

  • ||

    Dude, tormenting children is even easier than tormenting adults. It's like police laziness squared. She's exponentially more cop than a cop.

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't her real calling police work?

    All she did was soak the crayons in hot sauce to prevent the tard from eating them.

    If her calling was police work she would have tied the kid to a chair, and then gotten to work pouring the sauce onto eyes, nose and genitals.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Right, it's not like she gets paid specifically to deal with difficult children.

    We should cut her a break when she does shit like that without the parent's permission.

  • Jeff||

    Er... sounds like the kid fed himself hot sauce-soaked crayons.

  • Brett L||

    Right. The crayons she soaked in hot sauce and left in a bag with his name on them. If she had soaked them in cyanide, and left them in a bag with his name on them, would she similarly be innocent of murder?

  • waffles||

    I think you are underestimating how annoying autistic kids can be.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If the kid's behavior is disrupting the class, then he should be moved to a special needs class.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't think they're allowed to do that. The kids can't be othered. At least, that's the word from my teacher friends in this neck of the woods.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    Your friend is mistaken.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    If she's unable to deal with annoying autistic kids....maybe she shouldn't be working with annoying autistic kids.

  • Jeff||

    I think it's a pretty needlessly sensationalistic headline, is all.

  • Brett L||

    So she knew the kid ate crayons and she put them where he had previously eaten crayons. I mean, it would be crazy to accuse someone of "feeding" you poison if they simply put it in a container from which you were accustomed to eating.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    "I mean, it would be crazy to accuse someone of "feeding" you poison if they simply put it in a container from which you were accustomed to eating."

    Pretty much, yeah, especially when it's a container of shit that specifically isn't food, and that you shouldn't be eating.

    Go ahead and make more stupid assertions if it makes you feel better though.

  • Zeb||

    If she had soaked them in cyanide, and left them in a bag with his name on them, would she similarly be innocent of murder?

    No, of course not. But what is she guilty of in this case? Being kind of an idiot?

    I think she should have stayed fired for being an idiot, but I can't work up too much outrage about this.

  • Drake||

    Was the bag of spicy crayons placed in the kid's lunch box or art box?

    Sounds like somebody was sick of Autistic Johnny eating all the crayons - but I doubt it stopped him or her. Some of them are basically immune to pain.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until your crayons are gone.

  • Loki||

    "There was this retard once, you see this scar?"

  • Loki||

    Some of them are basically immune to pain.

    And while they may not be as strong as apes, don't lock eyes with 'em, don't do it. Puts 'em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is "Who wants crayons?" Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want crayons.

  • Dweebston||

    I found that clip from the earlier comment and had to watch and rewatch it. Good God, that's funny.

  • Drake||

    Knew a woman with an autistic kid - they got Child Welfare visiting them because he kept dislocating his shoulder. When he decided to run, he didn't care if his parents tried to hold him back and kept on pulling after his shoulder was out. Also didn't give a fuck about walking in snow barefoot or not eating for a week if he didn't like the food.

  • Dweebston||

    A true American patriot. God bless.

  • Coeus||

    Hopefully he'll grow up to teach High School Civics instead of the proggie bootlickers that usually get the job.

  • Zeb||

    I had a really hot English woman teach me high school civics. Don't recall if she had any particular progressive bias.

  • Lilya||

    "Them"? Actually some of "them" are hyper-responsive to stimuli while others are hypo responsive or have mixed responses. Most need additional pressure to help them concentrate and this is why professionals have developed chew tubes. If the teacher took a little time to understand the students she is being paid to teach then maybe she would have understood that cruelty is no more likely to change the individual needs of a student with this developmental disability than it is to change the need of a diabetic student who needs insulin. But it's easier, for teachers and commenters, to assume a smug nonchalance about what happens in modern public schools so long as it happens to "them."

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ReasonA judge has ordered that a special needs teacher in Florida who was fired after she was accused of feeding an autistic child crayons
    A Florida elementary school teacher who was fired for feeding an autistic child hot sauce soaked crayons
    Gomez had allegedly put jumbo-sized crayons in a cup and soaked them for days in hot sauce before moving them to a bag that was labeled with the student's name

    ...so, did she actually do it, or was she accused of doing it? There is a difference.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Nobody ever says anyone actually did anything criminal anymore. It's all alleged.

  • playa manhattan||

    Allegedly.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I found this article with more information:

    -Lillian Gomez lost her job at Sunrise Elementary School in February 2012, after officials discovered she had soaked crayons in hot sauce for days and then put them in a bag with the student’s name on it.

    She claimed it was a deterrent from eating her art supplies and denied that she force-fed the student the crayons.

    -A Fifth District Appeals judge said that the school district failed to prove that Gomez was attempting to punish students.

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i.....s-rehired#

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I see. So the verified factual content is that she placed hot sauce-soaked crayons in a student's art supplies bag as a bizarre deterrent, and the force-feeding is what is alleged?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    From what I can gather that is accurate.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Well, they should fire Matt Feeney and hire you in his place. The way it was written by Feeney made no sense, and his excerpt didn't help.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Could have been reported better, I agree.

    Can they fire Feeney over it though? Was his writing simply inappropriate, or did it constitute demonstrable ineffectiveness such that he should be removed?

  • Ted S.||

    She claimed it was a deterrent from eating her art supplies and denied that she force-fed the student the crayons.

    -A Fifth District Appeals judge said that the school district failed to prove that Gomez was attempting to punish students.

    Er, she admitted she was trying to punish the kid through inflicting pain when he did the thing she didn't want him to do.

  • Drake||

    If he was eating dog-shit, should she offer him some salt?

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    ", she admitted she was trying to punish the kid through inflicting pain"

    No, she didn't. She needs to be fired, but no, she never did what you're claiming.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    No, she didn't.

    I love brevity - but you're wrong.

    From what seems to be known - the teacher admitted specifically to soaking crayons in hot sauce to stop a kid from eating them.

    Since she openly thought doing this would reduce crayon eating behavior, then she admitted by her statements and her behavior that her goal was to punish the child.

    Ipso facto

    Unless you believe her goal was to use crayons soaked in hot sauce as a reward. & furthermore assume the teacher also believed that by rewarding a student for eating crayons would reduce crayon eating behavior.

    But drive bys seems to be more your style - easier than actually reading I suppose.

  • amelia||

    Yep. If a consequence reduces a behavior, it is by definition a punishment. Even if she doesn't understand that she was attempting to punish the child, that is exactly what she was doing.

  • Zeb||

    so, did she actually do it, or was she accused of doing it? There is a difference.

    There is, but you can never know if you weren't there.

  • ||

    We really need to be asking what hot sauce she used. Did this monster waste precious Sriracha?

  • playa manhattan||

    Teachers are the real reason for the shortage. This conspiracy goes all the way to the highest levels of government.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I didn't realize there was a shortage looming. A bottle of Sriracha typically lasts me at least a year.

  • ||

    Hugh's mucous membranes are very sensitive, so he only needs a little at a time for his "sensual irritation".

  • Hugh Akston||

    What can I say? I find that a delicate palette is more receptive to subtle variations.

    Unlike you, who has rub habaneros in his urethra every morning just to get out of bed.

  • ||

    What can I say? Like sarcasmic, I love Mapplethorpe too much to stop.

  • ||

    What can I say? Like sarcasmic, I love Mapplethorpe too much to stop.

  • Ted S.||

    I don't know what you can say, but you can say it twice!

  • Zeb||

    In seriousness, I think that is a relevant question. If it was some kind of super hot death sauce, it would have caused some serious distress. If it was something more mild, it's a pretty harmless deterrent. Though that bitter apple stuff would probably be more appropriate. I think it is worth pointing out that eating hot sauce is almost certainly less harmful than eating crayons.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And more

    The school spent more than $50,000 in attorneys fees litigating the case, claiming in court papers that Gomez's "effectiveness" as a teacher was "severely impaired" as a result of the incident.

    But the appeals judge disagreed, saying the "conduct was not so egregious" that firing Gomez could be a decision made by the courts.

    Gomez denies force-feeding the student. Her attorney, Thomas Egan, said his client was only trying to help her student by preventing him from eating art supplies.

    "I think she made a bad judgment in the way she went about it," he said. "But her purpose was good."

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/fla-t.....d=21200322

  • Loki||

    "I think she made a bad judgment in the way she went about it," he said. "But her purpose was good."

    And afterall, intentions are all that really matter.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, in certain legal matters intent is important.

  • Coeus||

    Mens rea will be completely eliminated by the end of the decade. It's already almost gone. What's the point of having too many nonsensical laws to keep up with if they can't be used to punish at whim?

  • datcv||

    Very bad judgement. The kid could have been in a lot of pain if he got the hot sauce on his hands and then touched his eyes.

    As a contact lens wearer that also cooks with chiles, it is not a pleasant feeling...

  • Tim||

    Tutoring, torturing whatever.

  • ||

    Look, as long as she didn't use "Indian Red" or "flesh" then I can't see what the problem is.

  • sarcasmic||

    I can see how she could do that to stop the kid from eating them, but come on. Kids have hands. Those hands touch noses, eyes, and other places.

    I remember a long time ago I was in a prep kitchen cleaning hot chilis. I washed my hands and then went to go take a leak, but hadn't washed my hands very well. The next ten minutes were spent in a fetal position on the bathroom floor.

    That could easily happen to a kid who was handling hot sauce soaked crayons. Not cool.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If she then did what you say (doing this to stop the child from eating them), would you agree with the judge here that it was 'inappropriate' but not determinative of such ineffectiveness to be fired?

  • Overt||

    If someone did that at my company- say pouring hot sauce in some food in the refrigerator to deter people from eating others' food- they would be severely disciplined if not fired.

    1) It is punitive and violent- causing pain
    2) It is not the way to deter behavior
    3) It has several dangers, including allergic reactions or respiratory distress.

    And this is a company where the people are working adults- not working with children.

    As a teacher, such blatant disregard for the health of your students coupled with a need to provide corporal punishment (very likely without authorization from parents/administration) demonstrates that she is not qualified for her job.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I see your point. I think it would depend on some things, such as, how hot was this 'hot sauce?' Some 'hot sauces' are fairly mild and some are absolutely debilitating. Did she try to explain to the child that she had done this in an effort to keep him from eating art supplies?

    Even if the answers here pointed to less seriousness I would still consider the behavior inappropriate for some of the reasons you give and the one given by sarcasmic above. How much of a punishment she would deserve would, again, depend on some things.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm thinking you're not a parent.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That is correct, I am not. I am trying to base my thinking on whether the teacher said to the child 'now Johnny, I have soaked these in hot sauce, you will not like this if you put them in your mouth again!' and on how hot the sauce was. Some hot sauces are so mild it is like putting vinegar on, and I had a grandmother that put vinegar on the thumbs of thumsucking grandchildren to deter them. I would not have considered her behavior abusive (of course conceding that what is appropriate for a parent or guardian to do is different than what is appropriate for someone else).

  • sarcasmic||

    Even so, the stuff will get onto the kid's hands. Then it will get onto places where it will burn. The kid can follow the teacher's instructions and still get burned. Or even burn another kid. I'd have to inform the lady that she needs to learn to think things through a little better before acting, and she'll have to learn that somewhere else.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, the hot sauce was a bad idea for all the reasons you give.
    There are other more appropriate taste deterrents. There is something called bitter apple, I think, which people use to discourage nail biting and keeping pets from eating houseplants. Horribly bitter, but harmless and doesn't cause inflammation like chiles.

  • Overt||

    "I think it would depend on some things, such as, how hot was this 'hot sauce?'"

    In my mind that is no different than saying "it would depend on how hard she hit the child".

    Using pain to deter behavior is corporal punishment and is not allowed. Further, we hire and train teachers- especially special needs teachers- with the specific expectation that they will have the skills to modify behavior without resorting to pain.

    Not only did this teacher break an inviolable rule against use of force, but the fact that she pre-meditated this method shows that she is clearly deficient in the expected qualifications of her job.

  • Zeb||

    I don't think any public school teachers should be using any kind of corporal punishment, but there is still a huge difference between lightly slapping a student's hand with a ruler and punching them in the face.

  • Coeus||

    If someone did that at my company- say pouring hot sauce in some food in the refrigerator to deter people from eating others' food- they would be severely disciplined if not fired.

    I hope then that no one who likes spicy food gets their stuff stolen. Sounds like your workplace is retarded.

  • pmains||

    Yep. Something about this comment reeks of, "I'm not bright enough to [articulate|comprehend] my company's safety policies."

  • Michael S. Langston||

    You're wrong - worked for enough large and small corps to know - at least those I worked at... if someone specifically added strong spices to food in a designed effort to "punish" others and were caught - the consequences would be severe and likely include firing.

    Your belief that someone's vagueness on this means they didn't read their company's policy is just stupid - most likely is the company doesn't have a policy like this at all (neither does mine that I'm aware of) because no one would expect it to happen with working professional adults.

    It's simply that most things which may get you fired at work isn't in a specific policy.

    Just like most corporate policies also don't specifically say punching people shouldn't be used to resolve disagreements (saw a UE claim where someone actually argued that the policy at WalMart didn't say they couldn't hit their boss - so they should get UE benefits).

    Either way - your lack of understanding and ignorance, doesn't mean someone else was unable to comprehend their company's safety policies.

  • Ted S.||

    I think Overt was talking about spiking everybody's food in the fridge.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    Nope, look further doen thread, Overt is a fucking moron.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    "Sounds like your workplace is retarded."

    And that he's a fucking tyrant who thinks stupid dictates are his right.

  • pmains||

    If I pour hot sauce on the food of other employees, then, sure. If I pour hot sauce on communal food, fine. If I pour hot sauce on my own food, then the guy stealing my lunch accepts any and all risks. Those razorblades in my spicy bologna sandwich? I use them to shave from the inside.

  • Coeus||

    If I pour hot sauce on my own food

    Your own food? What are you, some ayn rand reading psychopath? I bet you want poor people starving in the streets.

  • Overt||

    If you pour hot sauce on your food with the intent of injuring a person stealing it, yes there will be disciplinary consequences. Just as if you punch the guy when he does it.

    I understand your guys' view point- and it is a fair point that proving you intended to 'teach a lesson' may be difficult- but at the work place the expectation is that you know how to use non-violent means to resolve problems. Doing something that could cause injury to a (jerk) food moocher or to some other inadvertent bystander is just unacceptable.

    This isn't your house, or other personal location. It is a work place that could get sued if it tolerated such an environment.

  • Coeus||

    but at the work place the expectation is that you know how to use non-violent means to resolve problems. Doing something that could cause injury to a (jerk) food moocher or to some other inadvertent bystander is just unacceptable.

    I'm trying to figure out how putting hot sauce on your food and leaving it in the fridge could be construed as causing injury. I'm drawing a blank. Even in our supremely retarded litigation prone society, I'm willing to bet that this has never happened.

  • Coeus||

    Also, I'm willing to bet that if you have any Korean employees who know of this policy, you could be sued for creating a hostile work environment.

  • Overt||

    If you do any action with the intent to cause pain to others, that will be what happens.

    I'm not talking about just making it hot, but instead doing what the teacher did- make it painful for someone to engage in inappropriate behavior. As I said, proving that this was your intent may be difficult, but if you did things like brag about booby-trapping your food in order to punish the person who has been taking your food, yes that would cross the line.

    The point is: trying to resolve disagreements at work via pain is frowned upon. severely.

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    "If you pour hot sauce on your food with the intent of injuring a person stealing it, yes there will be disciplinary consequences. "

    Hopefully only for the asshole who stole my shit, right?

    Oh, you mean you're a fucking idiot who thinks he gets to police my food.

    Die in a grease fire cunt.

  • Overt||

    I don't police anyone.

    Perhaps you don't understand that what you do when on the job is not just your business. And businesses that permit a culture of painful retribution will find that they too are vulnerable to hostile work environment claims.

  • pmains||

    I guess I would need to consult a lawyer to see if current jurisprudence has wandered so far from natural principles of justice that we now need to baby-proof our food for the benefit of thieves, but I doubt that any such litigation would be successful.

  • Zeb||

    Nope. Hot sauce is food. I can put as much of it on my shit as I want to. You take someone's food, you accept the risk that it might include ingredients you would rather not consume.

  • Cloudbuster||

    What a nation of pussies. You steal someone's food and get a mouth full of hot sauce, it's your own fault.

  • ||

    Anybody who steals food out of the community fridge deserves what they get.

  • sarcasmic||

    No.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is that no because what she did rose above inappropriateness and/or deserved firing, or no you would not have found it to be inappropriate?

  • sarcasmic||

    If the kid handled the spiked crayons and then stuck his finger in his eye or nose, it would be somewhat equivalent to being maced. Do you think a teacher who uses mace as a teaching tool should be allowed to keep their job?

  • shut the fuck up mary||

    "it would be somewhat equivalent to being maced."

    Are you serious with this shit? Jesus Christ, stop lying.

    "Equivalent to being maced" , wow, just shut the fuck up.

    Could you be anymore hyperbolically hysterically stupid?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    "it would be somewhat equivalent to being maced."

    Are you serious with this shit? Jesus Christ, stop lying.

    More drive by crap - do you know what mace is made of?

    I'll give you a hint - they also call mace pepper spray.

    Could you be anymore hyperbolically hysterically stupid?

    So ignorant, yet so confident. A horrible combination.

  • Loki||

    I remember a long time ago I was in a prep kitchen cleaning hot chilis. I washed my hands and then went to go take a leak, but hadn't washed my hands very well. The next ten minutes were spent in a fetal position on the bathroom floor

    If you didn't insist on sticking a finger up your urethra every time you go to take a leak that wouldn't happen.

  • ||

    He loves Mapplethorpe too much to stop.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you think the sauce has to get up into the urethra to burn, then go right ahead and test your theory. I dare ya.

  • sarcasmic||

    By test I mean put some hot sauce on some soft spots without getting near the urethra. See what happens. Please. And tell me the results.

  • Coeus||

    He should post the results to youtube. It's the only way to fight government tyranny.

  • Zeb||

    I have done that too and it sucks. I grew some habaneros that were especially hot and after I tasted a tiny little sliver I somehow managed to get it in my ear, my eye and on my dick.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thinking about it, wax is hydrophobic. So all the soaking would have done is get the sauce into the paper.

  • SugarFree||

    She never said she was a science teacher.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    From the article: "'I think she made a bad judgment in the way she went about it,' he said. "But her purpose was good.'"

    Progressive thinking in a nutshell.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressives don't think. They emote. Thinking people care about things that matter, like results.

  • ||

    Only words matter; actions and consequences don't matter at all.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I doubt this has anything to do with progressives in general. While they may focus on intentions and ignore pernicious results more than other political philosophy, that does not make Justice Holmes old adage that Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over' not important in some situations.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    I agree that intentions matter, but outcomes and reality matter more. Progressives triumph intentions* over results and outcomes.

    *Of course, by intentions I mean stated intentions.

  • wareagle||

    it has everything to do with progressives, from putting an autistic kids in a non-special needs classroom to the efforts to justify her behavior as good intentions carried out poorly.

  • amelia||

    Who says the kids was in a regular classroom? None of the articles I read specified so - given his young age and the severity of the behavior, I assume he was in special ed.

  • Zeb||

    I have to agree that deterring an autistic kid from eating things that are not food is a desirable thing.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Agreed, but isn't the larger point that there are an infinite number of possible way to reduce this autistic child from eating crayons that do not include hot sauce of any other food type "punishment".

    I read this and this... really? this is the best thing they could come up with?

    How about - keep crayons on very top shelf at all times until in use, then watch closely as the child is developmentally disabled.

    Or were there only two choices? Let kid eat crayons? Or punish kid with hot sauce?

  • amelia||

    Yes, that is the larger point. Public school districts employ behavioral specialists to consult with teachers and parents of kids who engage in problem behaviors of this nature. Pica is a fairly common behavioral problem among the developmentally disabled and there is tons of research in the fields of applied behavior analysis, behavioral psychology, developmental psychology, and pediatric psychiatry on how to reduce the behavior.

  • amelia||

    Use of aversives such as hot sauce actually occurred in the past, but since the 1960s has been regarded a last resort, to be used only if the individual's life is clearly endangered by the behavior. You don't do it because the behavior is inconvenient for another person. If this dipshit teacher had done her ethical duty and consulted with the professionals the district employs, she could have received appropriate assistance. As a special ed teacher (why are so many on this thread assuming he was mainstreamed?) she had a professional obligation to know about those resources. Yes, keep the crayons out of reach; let the kid chew gum to reduce the likelihood he will eat crayons; monitor him when crayons are being used and remove the crayons if he places them anywhere near his mouth, then redirect him to another activity - these are all techniques that could have been tried and if done correctly, they may have worked. Punishment should never be used without explicit direction from the behavioral specialist and written consent from the parents.

  • Acosmist||

    Everyone here should have to teach autistic kids for a year. gg no re

  • Michael S. Langston||

    If your point that in doing so more here may become more sympathetic to said teacher - then your point is really irrelevant.

    As regardless of whether some, none, many, or even all here may not be able to handle teaching autistic children has no bearing on the teacher in question.

    Unless the teacher was forced to take this job? At gunpoint.

    But since this teacher took this job willingly, even to the point of getting a specific education to be able to obtain this job, means she has to be able to handle teaching autistic children to an extent where punishing them by hot sauce isn't necessary. Or find a new job.

    Just like if a video tape surfaced, a full encounter with an LEO and a complete aggressive, trying to provoke LEO a$$hole, where the LEO held back longer than most of us ever would, but in the end still abused their authority.

    Sure - I may see the whole tape and think "I might have done worse in the same situation" - but I'm not a cop.

    Nor am I irrational - so I can think "I might have done worse" while simultaneously believing the LEO deserves immediate and meaningful punishment for their abuse.

  • InklingBooks||

    I worked as a volunteer with autistic children. They can be very difficult. If fact, the research I was a part of referred to them as having 'severe behavior disorders.'

    Keep in mind what was probably happening here. The child was eating the crayons rather than drawing with them. Regular kids do that, so it's not surprising that one with autism might. The kids I worked with would flip their bowls of cereal with milk over or walk blindly in front of a kid on a swing. In the latter case, I had to step in between, taking the hit myself and grabbing the child on the swing so he didn't fall and get hurt. It is very hard to teach them.

    The hot sauce was almost certainly an attempt to keep the kid from eating crayons. The teacher should have ran her hot sauce idea before the child's parents and the school bureaucracy, getting their approval first before trying it, but what was done was hardly grounds for firing.

    --Michael W. Perry, My Nights with Leukemia: Caring for Children with Cancer

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