State goes after certificate of Osceola Co. teacher accused of forcing child to eat hot sauce



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - State leaders are going after an Osceola County teacher who was accused of dousing the crayons of a special needs student in hot sauce.
Channel 9 has followed Lillian Gomez's case since she was fired in 2012.
She appealed her firing and won, but when the district refused to give her job back she went to a higher court, and that judge put her back in the classroom.
Channel 9's Kenneth Craig found out that the Florida Department of Education is now going after her teacher certification.
Jose Holguin, the father of the special needs student she was accused of force-feeding hot-sauce soaked crayons, said he doesn't want her back in a classroom.
"I've said it and I'll say it again, 'Ms. Gomez, this is not your path,' Holguin said in an interview last year.
More than $100,000 tax dollars were spent in legal fees fighting her cases.
Now the DOE is going above the district in an effort to revoke her teaching certificate.
But Gomez is fighting the state.
"Looking at the history of this case, it's a high bar for the commissioner to successfully take this teacher's certificate," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.
Two courts agreed that Gomez shouldn't have been fired.
Sheaffer said proving she should be stripped of her certificate could be tough.
"The administrative judge in this current action is going to give great weight to fact and conclusions of law made by the former administrative judge and the appellate court," said Sheaffer.