Florida Teacher Arrested for Assaulting Autistic 4-Year-Old Student

A Florida teacher has been arrested following allegations of physical abuse against a 4-year-old student with autism. According to reports, the teacher, identified as Stacy Strnad and aged 48, was taken into custody after allegedly striking the student on two separate occasions while at work in River Elementary School, located in Edgewater. The incident has prompted an investigation from the school district, which has thus far resulted in Strnad being suspended from her teaching position. Edgewater police have formally charged the educator with child abuse in connection with the incidents.

Specifically, Strnad was described as a member of the school’s “exceptional student education” program, established to support students with potential disabilities. The allegations against her involve the physical mistreatment of the 4-year-old boy with autism. The police report obtained by the Miami Herald revealed that Strnad purportedly struck the student on his arm as a disciplinary measure when he failed to comply with instructions. Furthermore, she reportedly pushed him forcefully against a wall during a time-out when he attempted to flee from the designated area.

Disturbed by the incidents, staff members at the school expressed their disbelief at the teacher’s actions to law enforcement, emphasizing that this was not an isolated occurrence. Additional accounts indicated that Strnad displayed aggression towards other students who were either diagnosed with autism or faced difficulties in verbal communication. According to staff members, the teacher allegedly handled students roughly and even struck their hands.

Following the emergence of these alarming allegations, Strnad has been placed on administrative leave by the school authorities. Volusia County Schools released a statement in response to the incident, affirming their commitment to prioritizing student safety and trust. The statement, obtained by WESH 2, confirmed full cooperation with the ongoing investigation and assured stakeholders that all necessary protocols had been followed. It stressed the seriousness with which the school district regards any behavior that endangers its students and undermines parental confidence. The school’s administration reiterated their dedication to cultivating a secure and respectful learning environment for all students, making it clear that any misconduct contrary to these standards would not be tolerated.

Local authorities have informed the boy’s father and the Florida Department of Children and Families about the situation, ensuring awareness of the alleged abuse. As the investigation progresses, determining the appropriate course of action for justice and ensuring the emotional well-being of the affected student remains a priority.

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