Woman Reportedly Tortures 'Special Needs' Students; Witness: Teacher Rubbed Against Child, Said 'Cry For Mama' Woman Reportedly Tortures 'Special Needs' Students; Witness: Teacher Rubbed Against Child, Said 'Cry For Mama'
www.local6.com - WKMG, November 11, 2004

Kathleen Garrett

A 48-year-old teacher in Seminole County, Fla., is accused of torturing her autistic students, including allegedly rubbing a child's face in vomit and slamming another child's head so hard that he lost his front teeth, according to Local 6 News.

The Casselberry Police Department received information several weeks ago that South Seminole Middle School teacher Kathleen Garrett allegedly struck several students.

When police investigated, witnesses said she had battered the children who are unable to communicate well.

Witnesses told police that Garrett punched a student in the head for wetting his pants and grabbed another student by the back of the neck after he vomited and shoved his face into the vomit.

Garrett, who weighs 300 pounds, also reportedly pinned a special needs student facedown on his desk until he choked before two assistants reportedly jumped in to save the child, according to an arrest report.

Witnesses also said that Garrett rubbed her body against a child and repeatedly told him to "cry for mama."

Authorities said all of the victims have special needs and that Garrett was their primary caregiver.

Police believe that Garrett used threats, intimidation and bodily harm to physically and mentally control the disabled victims, Local 6 News reported.

Garrett was arrested Wednesday and charged with nine counts of aggravated child abuse on the special needs students in her classroom

Garrett was booked into the Seminole County Jail but released Wednesday night.

The parents of the involved children have been notified of the allegations.

South Seminole Middle School is located at 101 S. Winter Park Drive in Casselberry.

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