Substitute teacher threatens to have students shot

Published: Jan. 11, 2016 at 1:30 PM MST
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A substitute teacher in Volusia County, who was upset that her students weren't behaving, allegedly told them she could have them shot.

She is accused of making those controversial comments to third graders at Turie T. Small Elementary School in Daytona Beach.

The students and their parents are more than disturbed.

The 61-year-old substitute teacher was in a classroom for the very first time at Turie T. Small after completing training. Just a few hours into the school day Thursday, she allegedly told the third graders if they didn't stop misbehaving, she'd let a gunman in to the classroom to shoot them.

"She used that to calm them down instead of going to the faculty, yes, ma'am," the father of one of the students said.

The father asked not to be identified, because he didn't want to single out his third grade child. His boy and his classmates were terrified by the substitute teacher's threat.

The classrooms have outside doors, and she allegedly dangled the keys in front of the kids.

"She would have the keys to the classroom to let someone in if they wouldn't calm down, to come in and shoot them in between the eyes," a parent said.

Every single student in the classroom relayed the same story, and the substitute was removed and escorted off campus. An assistant principal sent a recorded message home to the third grade parents, and it said, in part: "I wanted to let you know that we do take these statements extremely seriously, and we are working with the district closely in regards to this incident."

School district spokeswoman Nancy Wait said the teacher went through all the background checks. "Everything was clear," Wait said.

Wait said the substitute, a non-district employee, had previously worked in extended after-school care without any problems and just can't explain what she calls the sub's extreme lack of judgement.

Substitute teachers need a high school diploma, three days of training, and a clear background check to be in a classroom.

"We have made sure this substitute will not be teaching in our schools. (She) will not be eligible for any job in Volusia County schools," Wait said.

"He was very shaken," the parent said. "He had difficulty, at first, going to sleep."

The father said he had to spend quite awhile reassuring his child he would be safe.

A school resource officer on campus documented the incident in a police report.