Mother says charter school teacher hit autistic daughter with ruler


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The mother of an Orange County charter school student is upset after she said a teacher hit her daughter with a ruler.

Tonya Devoe said she initally felt good about enrolling her daughter at UCP's charter school in the Pine Hills area.

"They welcomed us with open arms," Devoe said.

The organization has seven charter schools that serve about 3,000 students in central Florida.

Devoe's daughter, Jada, is autistic and Devoe believed the charter school was appropriate because is specializes in students with disabilities.

"I thought that her being in a school like that and her being autistic that she would be safe," Devoe said.

But she got a call last week that a teacher at the school hit her daughter with ruler when she wasn't following directions.

"That's not punishment. I don't do it and I don't want no one else doing it," Devoe said.

WFTV reached out to school officials, who released a statement about the incident:

"UCP always puts our students safety as our number one priority. Any time there is a report of neglect or abuse, we self-report the incident to the Department of Children and Families. DCF has conducted their investigation."

Devoe claims the teacher involved was allowed back in the classroom.

"They still let the teacher back in school so what does that say to you," Devoe said.

DCF officials wouldn't release details about the case. Devoe said she has filed a report with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.