An elementary school administrator in a North Florida county was reprimanded after authorizing the use of what is known as a ‘spit sock’ on a student with documented behavioral issues.
NBC affiliate WESH-TV reports the incident took place in February at the school in Flagler County, just south of Jacksonville. According to an investigation, school officials stepped in after the 9-year-old child became upset and his guardian could not control the child.
A school resource deputy recorded the incident on their bodycam, with the child biting, spitting and kicking while being taken into a room under the direction of Belle Terre Elementary School assistant principal Katrina Feola.
One school volunteer is recorded asking for a spit sock - a mesh bag that fits a child’s head to prevent spitting and biting - and the deputy goes to their police car to get one.
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Feola, who expressed concern about the spread of COVID-19 during the incident, was given a written reprimand by school district leaders after the investigation. In the letter, an executive director of leadership development said Feola had “other options.”
The volunteer who suggested its use is no longer with the school, the station reported.
Feola wrote in her letter of response that she “made the best decisions I could make (in those moments.)”
The student’s guardian was made aware of the spit sock’s use and was “understanding and agreeable to the response”, according to documents. The school district said it was not in favor of its use, however.