Teacher arrested for shoving, spitting on student during class

12YO suffered bruises behind his right ear
Posted at 11:26 PM, Mar 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-30 23:26:33-04

Editor’s Note: In October of 2018, a judge dismissed the criminal charge against Luis Rizo.

Original Story:

A 6th grade Social Studies teacher is now charged with child abuse after Tampa police said he shoved a student in an argument during class on Tuesday.

Luis Rizo, 43, refused to comment to ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska about the allegations.

Police said Rizo got into a “verbal altercation with the 12-year-old victim while teaching class. It was reported that Rizo then "spit in the victim's face, grabbed him by his throat, then shoved the victim onto the desk causing the victim to get a minor bruise behind his ear.” 

People we spoke to that live across from the school said the teacher should’ve taken the high road. 

“He shouldn't be a teacher I wouldn't imagine,” Janet Britten said. Britten said her granddaughter is an 8th grader at the school.

“It's not right. He should have walked out of the class and went to the principal,” Britten said.

He has been pulled from the classroom and must meet with the Office of Professional Standards. He will be placed in a non-school area while the investigation continues.

According Hillsborough County Public Schools spokesperson Tanya Arja, Rizo  “was hired in August 2015. He does not have any other complaints or investigations by the Office of Professional Standards."

Rizo faces one county of felony Child Abuse.