Aide in teacher-cussing case had been reprimanded

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24 May 2019, 2:20 am

South Florida Sun-Sentinal

Quote:
Same teacher’s aide. Same school. Second investigation for alleged mistreatment of autistic students.

For the second time in five years, Joyce Latricia Bradley, a teacher’s aide with the Broward School District, has been removed from a special-needs classroom at Pasadena Lakes Elementary School pending an investigation.

The Broward Teacher’s Union confirmed this week that it is representing Bradley for the second time.

This time around, parents of the seven autistic kindergartners in Bradley’s Pembroke Pines class came forward with a recording that they say captured Bradley and the teacher she works with cursing at their children and making them cry.

Last time, Bradley was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery on a student after a 10-year-old boy went home with bruises on his arm.

Bradley’s job evaluations in years past lauded her as a wonderful and attentive teacher who was an asset to the autistic program.

State prosecutors eventually elected not to pursue criminal charges but the school district’s Professional Standards Committee issued a letter of reprimand after it unanimously voted, 5-0, that Bradley had violated state ethics rules and professional conduct standards, records show.

The arrest and reprimand resulted from a Sept. 10, 2014, incident with an autistic boy in the school’s media center.

When the boy’s mother spotted three circular marks surrounded by bruising on her son’s upper arm, she video recorded him explaining that “Miss Joyce” had hit him in the arm three times with a marker, according to a school district report.

The boy demonstrated Bradley’s actions for the school’s autism coach when she called him to her office to see the bruises, the report said.

When notified of the first investigation, Bradley declined to provide a statement to the district. She eventually apologized and said it was “out of character” for her, records show.

According to Bradley’s arrest report, the boy inked Bradley’s shirt with a marker. She bruised the boy when she took the marker from him and jabbed him three times with the tip of it, police said.

State prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges in May 2015 after Bradley’s lawyer cited several cases and argued that state law allows a teacher, or someone standing in as a parent, to strike a misbehaving child as discipline.

“We could not in good faith” challenge the defense’s legal argument, Broward Assistant State Attorney Patyl Oflazian wrote in a close-out memo.

The letter of reprimand went into Bradley’s personnel file, and back to the classroom she went.

Now in what may feel like a disturbing case of deja vu to some, Bradley, along with the teacher she currently works with, is each under investigation by the Pembroke Pines Police Department and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Bradley, 49, of Opa-Locka, could not be reached for comment for this article. The teacher, identified by parents as Tahisha-Ann Brown, couldn’t be reached either.

Parents of one of the children in Bradley’s classroom attached a recording device to their son’s backpack and sent him to school with it after he came home dropping F-bombs and spewing curse words.

Verbal abuse wasn’t the only mistreatment allegedly heard on the recording, according to a Pembroke Pines police offense report.

“In the recording, the suspect sounds angry and what appears to be slapping sounds can be heard,” the report said. “The victim yells out and begins to scream and cry."

Martin Berger, a lawyer representing three of the families in the cussing case, said he will definitely be looking into why Bradley was allowed to supervise children after the first incident.

“That’s going to be an issue brought up,” he said. “What their standard was to put her back in that classroom, I’d be very interested to know.”

It hasn’t been determined yet whether the current case will be presented to the Broward State Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

Because the teacher who is under investigation with Bradley is not a dues-paying member, the teacher’s union will not represent her, Fusco, the union president, said.

The union has no qualms about representing Bradley and paying her lawyer fees again.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


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