Tallahassee Parents Claim Teachers Force-Fed Daughter

Tallahassee Parents Claim Teachers Force-Fed Daughter
Posted at 4:53 PM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 04:42:50-05

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- The parents of a 4-year-old student at Sabal Palm Elementary School say teachers held down their daughter and forced her to eat.

Ashley Yanez and Kristopher Cabot say they worry about their daughter Kimberly White.

"She'll come home scared and telling me, 'Mama, the teacher's mean to me,'" Yanez said. "She didn't want to go to school this morning, and I can't blame her."

Kimberly's parents got a call Wednesday night from the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), shedding list on their daughter's complaints.

"They have told me that the teacher was holding her down and making her eat -- forcing her," Yanez said.

Kimberly started pre-kindergarten at Sabal Palm in August. Her parents say she's been doing well, earning "smiley faces" on her daily behavior reports -- until lately.

"And then I see it was all bad faces, so I was wondering what was going on," Cabot said. "Even Ashley tried to call up there, no answer."

Kimberly's parents say they were shocked to find out what happened to their daughter, but after talking to other classmates' parents, they say the teachers have mistreated other students before.

"A kid [coming] from school had a scratch on the forehead, because she slapped the kid, because he wasn't paying attention to reading," Yanez said, after talking to the boy's mother.

Leon County Schools confirmed there was a complaint filed against an employee, but would not say if it's regarding this incident. The district did say an instructional aide at the school has been put on leave, as it conducts an internal investigation.

But that's not stopping Kimberly's parents from taking further action. They plan to sue the school.

"They should be locked up for it -- for abusing a kid like that," Cabot said, "and it's been going on for probably about a month."

The parents say if problems continue, they may move Kimberly to a new school.

They also filed a complaint to the Leon County Sheriff's Office Thursday morning. The Sheriff's Office says an investigation is underway.