SPRING HILL, Fla. -- A kindergarten teacher in Hernando County is accused of bullying her students. Parents in that area say it happened after putting a recording device on their child after she came home in tears every day.
Tomas Valerio said his daughter used to loved school but after they moved to Spring Hill, but that all changed.
"After the first day, my daughter came home crying. We got her to tell us that the teacher was mean and she was very loud," Valerio said.
Valerio and his wife went to the principal at Pine Grove Elementary who they say explained the teacher, who has been with the district for 13 years, was naturally loud and their daughter needed time to adjust.
"Weeks and weeks passed and it was the same," Valerio said. "Every day was the same, she came home crying. Every morning, she would cry that she had to go to school."
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He said after confirming with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office that it was perfectly legal, his wife hid a tiny recording device in his daughter’s hair to find out what was happening at school.
"Maybe it wasn’t the teacher. Maybe other kids were bullying her. Maybe it was something that nobody knew about," Valerio said.
But what they captured on the recording device in a six-hour period shocked them.
The kindergarten teacher was heard yelling on recording device: “Stop talking, for once in your lives stop talking!”
The teacher later yelled at a child for putting an open drink in his backpack:
“Why would you put an open drink in your backpack? It’s common sense. What’s going to happen to a drink that is open and goes into your backpack? It's going to spill all over.”
"The entire time that she’s in class the teacher is yelling and screaming at these children," Valerio said. "And it's not just that she’s loud. She’s belittling them, she’s a bully to them, and we just found it disgusting."
Valerio says he took the recordings to the principal who would not listen to them. The school district tells us it's against their policy for them to listen to recording devices that were obtained without consent.
We reached out to the school district to find out what they were doing about the situation.They gave us this statement:
"We are aware of the concerns expressed by parents from Pine Grove Elementary. The school administration concluded their investigation and the teacher was disciplined in accordance with our School Board policy and procedures. The principal has been in contact with the parents multiple times and has offered several solutions including to change the child's teacher."
But Valerio says he doesn’t want his daughter at that school as long as the teacher is still there.
"You just don’t treat children like that, if this is the way you feel and how you have to act, this is not the job for you," Valerio said.