A teacher at Stirling Elementary in Hollywood is accused of locking an autistic child in a chair for two hours, and improperly managing several other special-needs children, according to a complaint.
Tuesday, the Broward School Board moved to suspend eight-year teacher Vivia Bromfield without pay, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
Superintendent Robert Runcie has recommended Bromfield be fired, but she has the right to a state hearing. School district officials say Bromfield in April strapped a 9-year-old boy into a Rifton chair, a learning and special activity chair typically used for students who rely on wheelchairs, but for no more than 15 minutes, the newspaper said.
The complaint said the child was able to sit normally at a desk and chair. Bromfield, who couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday, had said she temporarily placed the student in the chair to benefit from individual attention.
In addition, the complaint said Bromfield left another child in a similar situation earlier this year, and in a separate incident left two special-needs children for 70 minutes inside devices intended to help them stand.
Dane Ramson, a staff representative for the Broward Teachers Union, told the Sun Sentinel that the punishment was "extremely harsh." Ramson called the charges unfounded. "She is the sweetest lady; this is why we lose good teachers," Ramson said.