A Miami-Dade School District elementary school teacher is facing charges for child neglect and abuse after actions she allegedly took against two children at the school. Also, according to a statement from the district, the teacher has been fired.

Graciela Marino-Reyes, 60, a teacher at Auburndale Elementary School, is accused of grabbing one student by the wrist and escorting him to a bathroom then “shoving” the child into the bathroom and closing the door. The report said that Marino-Reyes then left the child confined and unsupervised for three to four seconds.

In the second incident, Marino-Reyes is accused of punching a student “on his upper back area with a closed fist.”

On Thursday, detectives interviewed Marino-Reyes about the incidents. She stated that the child had his hands around his stomach area “as if he was experiencing” pain,” so she escorted him to a bathroom where she placed him on a changing table, leaving the door open by using a chair while she went to get a diaper.

Marino-Reyes denied striking any child with a closed fist.

Detectives interviewed a witness who said that had seen one child stand up from his desk repeatedly. The witness said when the child stood up for the third time, Marino-Reyes “forcefully sat him down on his chair by putting both hand on his shoulders.” The child screamed, according to the witness, and kicked Marino-Reyes and “threw himself” on the floor.

Marino-Reyes, according to the witness, lifted him from the ground and punched him with a “closed fist.” When another child began to cry over the actions, the witness said that Marino-Reyes took that child, grabbed his hands and walked him to the bathroom, where she opened the door and shoved him into the bathroom corridor. That witness said she was the person who released the child from the confined area.

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An investigation into the allegations is ongoing by the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department.

According to Miami-Dade Public School District, Marino-Reyes had been employed by the district for eight years.

The district released a statement regarding the allegations.

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools is deeply disturbed about the serious allegations made against the employee. Conduct such as the one she is accused of will not be tolerated. As soon as the allegations surfaced, the individual was reassigned away from the school setting pending the outcome of an investigation by the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department. As a result of this week’s arrest, her employment will be terminated and she will be precluded from seeking future work with the District.”

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