Lillian Gomez may have just pulled off one of the biggest coups in educational history. She successfully fought her firing from a Florida school after it was found she had targeted an autistic child under her care and was feeding him crayons soaked in hot sauce as punishment for misbehaving.
Yet another reason to stay as far the f**k away from Florida as possible.
Gomez contended when she was first fired, and during her quest to be reinstated as a special needs educator, that she had not spiked the crayons with hot sauce as a pre-emptive tool to torture the child, but as a way of discouraging the child from putting crayons in his mouth. Crayons that she kept sealed in a special bag with the student’s name on it, and made available only to him. Sounds legit, right?
With the years of training that one would expect an educator who specializes in working with special needs students would have, it has left many asking the question that even if Gomez was telling the truth, and that the crayons were soaked in hot sauce to discourage the student from putting them in his mouth, shouldn’t she have had a few more less drastic tools in her arsenal than to jump to the affliction of pain to correct a behavior? How about pencil crayons or felt pens instead of wax crayons? How about no crayons at all?
After having an administrative law judge rule in her favor to return to work at Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee, Florida, Gomez was promptly responded to by school administration with a resounding “no thank you” which led to Gomez filing, and winning her case against the school with the Florida Fifth Court of Appeals.
For whatever reason, although the school district, the school, and many of the families that have children attending where Gomez will be teaching in the classroom, all saying in unison that she is unwanted, Gomez is insisting and pushing to get back into the classroom and resume where she left off.
“She proved already that she’s a danger inside a classroom,” said the autistic student’s father Jose Holguin to WFTV. “What else can she do to prove to the system that she doesn’t have it?”
Parent-teacher night at Sunrise Elementary School is going to be a very interesting place come 2014. Very interesting indeed.