Osceola teachers speak out about being falsely accused by students

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - Nearly a dozen Osceola County teachers spoke out a school board meeting Tuesday evening saying they're falsely accused by students and being unfairly punished.

The teachers addressed school board members one-by-one and painted a disheartening picture of threats, classroom violence an unjustified reprecussions.

"This month I had a parent threaten me and threaten my life," one teacher said.

"Took over a year to get cleared with DCF," another teacher explained.

"It is appalling we allow this to go on and our teachers are treated like criminals in the classroom," a third teacher said.

The Osceola County Education Association claims that 91 teachers from the 1,800-member union have been falsely accused by students since 2011, causing great hardship to their careers.

"Here we have children making accusations against adult, after adult, after adult -- who's in any position of authority -- just because they're challenging the child's behavior, it's a pattern," union president Apryle Jackson said.

The union wants the school district to investigate independently before calling law enforcement of the Department of Children and Families after a classroom incident.

"There's no reason we're the only district in central Florida that reports every single incident," Jackson said.

The issue comes not long after the January arrests of two teacher's aides, who allegedly stood by as two students fought in a middle school classroom. Board members agreed Tuesday evening to allow an independent review board investigate the case.

"You have to do the right thing and the right thing is to review everything," board member Tom Long said.

It's possible the school district will re-examine its policies pertaining to student-teacher complaints in the near future.