BRADENTON — A Tillman Elementary teacher is facing termination for reportedly using corporal punishment this past school year.
Karyn Cena, 40, of Bradenton, allegedly grabbed a first-grade student’s arm during a Memorial Day program practice in the school’s auditorium, dragged him to the back of the room and then shoved him onto a bench.
According to an administrative complaint filed by school district attorneys, Cena was upset the boy was not “participating appropriately” in the May 11 practice.
The incident was witnessed by other teachers, a teacher’s aide and the boy’s fellow students, the complaint states, and was investigated by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies determined “verified findings of child abuse,” but the state attorney’s office declined to press charges.
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Regardless, schools Superintendent Tim McGonegal wants her fired.
Cena has worked in the district since August of 2000. When reached by phone this morning, Cena declined comment. Her attorney Melissa Mihok of Tampa could not immediately be reached for comment.
Court papers show Cena denied the allegations against her and has requested a hearing. She is currently on administrative leave with pay.
The Manatee County School Board during its meeting Monday will determine whether to fire her or grant her an administrative hearing and suspend her without pay.
The accusation against Cena come on the heels of the district firing another teacher for corporal punishment. The board last month fired Peggy Hill, 59, for improperly disciplining students on two separate occasions in 2009.
Hill, a science teacher, slapped a student across the face after the student used profanity in front of a group of his peers May 4, 2009.
That same school year Hill was transferred to Braden River Middle School where on Oct. 20, 2009, she pushed a student out of a chair.