Teacher Who Soaked Child’s Crayons in Hot Sauce May Get Her Job Back – Should She?
Last October, Lillian Gomez, a Florida Special Education teacher was fired for soaking crayons in hot sauce and then giving them to an autistic child. This teacher was supposedly trying to help stop the child from eating crayons by using the hot sauce as a deterrent. She soaked the jumbo-sized crayons in hot sauce for days, let them dry and then placed them in a bag labeled with the student’s name.
Now she may be getting her job back since a judge is recommending that the school district reinstate this woman’s job. The school has spent more than $50,000 in attorney’s fees litigating this case over the past few months. And ultimately it is the school that will have the final decision on if this teacher comes back.
According to Good Morning America, at least one parent is furious with this decision and wondering if this woman should even work with children in the first place. And I agree! What was this teacher thinking? I understand that she thought she was using it as a deterrent and that the “punishment” of the hot sauce would outweigh the “reward” of eating crayons so she was in fact trying to create learning for this child, however, as a special needs teacher she should also know that autistic kids can have sensory disorders that this kind of “punishment” could be devastating. Plus, if you have ever cut jalapenos or had hot sauce on your hands, you know that it can actually burn, especially those with sensitive skin, and cause great discomfort if you touch your any part of your face.
Instead of taking matters into her own hands, this teacher should have discussed the issue with the parents, school officials, and the school/district psychologist to create a healthy and effective action plan to help this child stop the destructive behavior. In my opinion, she should NOT get her job back because who knows what other types of punishment she will come up with for other behaviors from children.
What do you think? Did this teacher just make a mistake, in which she should get her job back or is this proof that she is unable to make educated decisions about how to work with special needs children?