School Employee Assaults Special Needs Child

.jpg photo of school where employee assaulted Child
Public School Employee assaults Child

Ex-Middle school staffer charged with Child Abuse

JACKSONVILLE, FL  –  A former Duval County teacher’s assistant is facing child abuse charges from an altercation with two students in December.

According to Duval County School Board investigative reports, teacher assistant Robert Fields resigned, rather than face termination proceedings.

The reports said Fields told two students at Arlington Middle School to get back inside after they left a building with a basketball and a football without permission.

The students obeyed, but refused to hand over the balls and started to play keep-away with Fields, bouncing the balls off walls and windows.

That led to a physical confrontation between Fields and both students, the reports said.

Fields wrestled one to the floor and took the football away from him, and he shoved the other student several times in the chest and brought him into an intervention room, according to the reports.

Once inside, Fields and the second student got into a wrestling match, which only broke up when Duval County School Police Officer Ryan Goethe opened the door.

Fields told Goethe the student punched him in the face several times, and Goethe arrested the student.

No surveillance video was available from the intervention room, but there was video from the hallway.  Goethe did not retrieve that video for days, and when he did, he could see that Fields initiated the violence.

He told his supervisor, Sgt. Leslie Sams, and the State Attorney’s Office was advised about what the surveillance video showed.

Charges were dropped against the student, who was released from juvenile lockup after nine days.

Child abuse charges were filed against Fields.

Both officers were found to have violated School Board Police procedures.

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