A Florida middle school teacher was arrested after allegedly attacking one of her students with the handle of a broken metal broom.
Cyntyche Darling Lundy, 49, stands accused of one count of felony child abuse. A warrant was recently issued for her arrest by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office and she was arrested on April 22, 2022.
“St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating child abuse allegations against Ms. Darling Lundy on Friday after learning that the former Forest Grove Middle School teacher had struck one of her students with a broomstick,” SLC Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a press release posted on Facebook earlier this week.
According to West Palm Beach, Fla.-based NBC affiliate WPTV, a St. Lucie Public Schools spokesperson confirmed Lundy had been fired.
The alleged incident occurred on April 19, 2022.
“St. Lucie Public Schools is aware of serious allegations against a teacher,” the statement reads. “The school district is working closely with our local law enforcement partners. The alleged behavior is intolerable and reprehensible. As a result of the initial investigation, the teacher has been terminated. This behavior represents a total disregard for SLPS’s mission to provide a safe and caring teaching and learning environment and such behavior is not tolerated.”
Video of the incident that reportedly led to the defendant’s arrest and firing has been circulating online–and shared by local media outlets.
In the footage, which school officials reportedly viewed before letting the teacher go, an adult woman can be seen striking a minor boy with a gray or silver rod. The boy screams in pain as the implement makes contact with the right side of his body.
According to the arrest report, Darling Lundy first threw the weapon at the child but missed–breaking a computer screen. Then she allegedly pinned the child between two desks and struck him three times with the broom handle in his arm, hand and leg, citing victim himself. Police cited a Snapchat video, however, which they said appeared to show the defendant hitting the boy twice.
“I want to get out,” the boy says just moments before the violence. To which the woman in the video replies: “You like it right there.”
The ex-teacher offered a substantially different version of events to school officials–which was then copied into the police report:
She acknowledges the Victim was acting in a playful manner after not following instruction. She said he picked up the broken piece of broom and was running around with it. The stick had a sharp point and she did not want anyone getting hurt. When she took it from him, she it [sic] cut her hand. She pointed out to the Victim what he did. [Redacted.] She stated she cleaned her wound and the Victim went back to his desk. She did not write the Victim up because it was “Playful” interaction. She said she later gave him chewing gum, and the next day, asked for a hug.
“She will pay for this,” the boy’s mother, Joselyn Destine told Tequesta, Fla.-based ABC affiliate WPBF. “She will not do this to another child.”
Darling Lundy was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail and released on a $5,000 bond roughly three hours after being processed.
“The safety of our students on campus remains a top priority,” Mascara added. “We thank the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office for assisting in this arrest and appreciate our continued partnership with the St. Lucie Public Schools to keep our students safe.”
[image via St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office]
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