Campbell Park Elementary School employee resigns following corporal punishment investigation
11:38 PM, Feb 6, 2014
10:18 AM, Feb 7, 2014
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A front office clerk at Campbell Park Elementary School has resigned following an investigation into claims she beat a student on the legs with a belt.
"This is obviously completely against school board policy," said Pinellas Schools spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra. "A ny kind of alleged corporal punishment is going to be investigated and taken very seriously."
Tonya Robinson borrowed a belt from a cafeteria volunteer to hit a misbehaving first-grader in the school clinic's bathroom, according to school district documents released Thursday .
In the multi-page report, investigators concluded the student's mother gave Robinson permission to hit the child. Family members said the two women are longtime friends. The child refers to Robinson as "Auntie."
Witnesses reported seeing Robinson call the child's mother on the phone before she led him into the bathroom where the child was overheard screaming "no" and crying.
A certified nursing assistant accused of closing the clinic's door as if to "conceal what was occurring" has been reassigned and is no longer working on School Board property.
The volunteer who reportedly gave Robinson her belt is also no longer with Pinellas schools, according to the district.
"You don't put your hands on nobody's child," said Campbell Park grandparent Warren Williams. "That's not acceptable."
But not everyone agrees including Brenda Williams, a grandmother of two at Campbell Park.
"I feel sorry for her, especially when the parent told her to lay hands on him," said Williams. "She was in the right."
The boy was reportedly hit several times with the belt, but did not sustain any injuries. Criminal charges were not pursued.