Deltona, FL – A teacher’s assistant at Deltona High School is now free on $2,500 bond after deputies arrested her for slapping a disabled student in the face while changing his diaper in a bathroom.
71-year-old Patricia J. Reynolds was arrested yesterday (November 6th) by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office at her Orange City home a day after the incident happened, according to her arrest report. She’s facing a felony child abuse charge.
The teacher of that student – a 16-year-old Hispanic male who is non-verbal and has autism and Down’s syndrome – confirmed that she witnessed the incident after the student’s mother reported it to the School Resource Deputy assigned to Deltona High that day.
Per the report, the teacher went to help Reynolds with the student when she saw Reynolds slap his face with her non-dominant hand, It was after that when Reynolds saw the teacher and apologized for losing her temper.
Nothing visible was seen on the student’s face when the deputy went to check for injuries, according to the report.
When questioned by VCSO later that day at her home, Reynolds admitted there was an incident with the victim but wouldn’t give a statement without her union representative present.
Photos were taken of injuries Reynolds claims she received from that student while he was in her care, including at least three bruises on her right arm and a swollen pinky finger. All but one of the bruises, according to Reynolds, was from the incident that ultimately led to her arrest, per the report.
An official with the Florida Department of Children and Families has also been notified.
Reynolds is now on paid leave pending the outcome of her case, according to VCS spokesperson Kelly Schulz.