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And this is why awards don’t mean anything anymore.
A panel last week awarded Caroline Melanie Lee, a school teacher at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High, the prestigious honor of “Teacher of the Year.” Lee proudly accepted the award just days before police arrested her for child abuse.
On Friday, Lee, 60, allegedly struck a young female student who disagreed with her honor. The girl and other students questioned Lee’s award on Instagram, saying that Lee had used the N-word in class. At first, Lee brushed off the criticism, saying she only used the word while reading Of Mice and Men. However, Lee then requested to speak to one of the students in a private room, where the student said Lee struck her in the face multiple times.
The police report did not reveal the student’s name or age.
While Lee denied punching the student, the school surveillance video shows Lee “walking at an aggressive pace” to her classroom before the incident. Then, about four minutes later, the tape shows the student leaving the classroom holding her face. The report adds the student was bleeding from the nose.
“What is alleged should never occur—ever—especially in a school setting,” said Duval Schools Superintendent Diana Greene.
“I have no tolerance for adults who harm children, especially adults in a position of trust. We will cooperate with all investigations, and pending those results, we will take the actions necessary to stand up for and protect our students.”
Lee will not return, pending judicial and internal procedures.
[Image via Fox News]