Five ESE teachers' aides face termination, but not arrest

11-year old Jenny Caballero drowned in October

TAMPA - There were more more tears for the mother of 11-year-old Jenny Caballero on Tuesday.

She learned that school staffers at Rogers Middle School, who were supposed to be watching over the special needs student in her gym class, may be fired but won't be arrested.

"I want justice for Jennifer.  She lives in my heart and I always miss her," Elizabeth Caballero told us in Spanish.

An 800-page report details the criminal investigation into what's been called an accidental drowning.

Interviews with teacher's aides and attendants clearly show they were not on the same page when it came to following protocol for a missing student.  One aide told investigators he was not properly trained for emergency situations.

"We have pulled five teachers aides and attendants, five total, out of the classroom at Rogers Middle School," said Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia.

The report says Jenny had an extensive history since 2005 of running and hiding -- that she was found crouching underneath the gym bleachers the day before she drowned.

A gym coach even told administrators he was concerned about the well-being of her and other ESE students, calling the teacher's aides and attendants "inattentive."  In fact, one aide was taking a smoke break when Jenny wandered away.

"I've appointed a work group to review virtually everything about these cases. We're looking at protocols for staffing models, training, supervision, emergency calls," said Elia who is also putting together an advisory board of parents with ESE students. The school district has also hired consultants to assess the problems. Elia says they committee will report its findings in early December.

The aides and attendants say just a few minutes passed before they realized Jenny was missing. But they did not immediately report her disappearance to school administration. In that time, the report says a handful of classmates and staff including a custodian spotted her running across campus. They had no idea anything was wrong.

"They didn't take care of her like they should have at the school.  I lost my daughter because of the negligence by the teachers that work at the school," said Jenny's mom.

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