Florida Teacher Hospitalized After Attack by 5-Year-Old

It's the third time this has happened, union president says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2022 1:46 PM CST
Florida Teacher Hospitalized After Attack by 5-Year-Old
The incident began when the child started flipping chairs and throwing things, police say.   (Getty Images/ChiccoDodiFC)

A teacher in Florida was hospitalized after she was attacked by a 5-year-old special needs student her union chief describes as "enraged." According to a police report, the attack happened when the boy was taken to a "cool down" room after he started throwing things and flipping chairs in a pre-K classroom in Pembroke Pines, around 22 miles from Miami, NBC reports. Police said teacher Trisha Meadows called for help on the school radio after the student attacked her, and an officer found her sitting against a wall "dazed" and "unresponsive." She "continued to blink and breathe regularly but at no point was able to vocally respond or show signs of a response," the report said.

Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco says the boy "actually ran and attacked and jumped on her with his whole body weight. She fell and hit her head, which caused the severe injury and other bodily injuries where she is going to need surgery." The student weighs 50 to 60 pounds, while Meadows, who is in her late 30s or early 40s, is 5-foot-4 and slender, Fusco says. The union chief tells WSVN that this is the third time Meadows has been hospitalized after an attack from the same Pines Lakes Elementary School student. In one incident, Fusco says, the teacher ended up pinned under a bookcase the student threw at her. The union says Meadows, who suffered a severe concussion, is unlikely to return to the same school.

"This is not the first time this has happened at this school, in this classroom. I feel like there needs to be the proper support," a parent tells WSVN. "This is a special needs class." The parent says the student has also injured classmates. Police say that while the boy is being investigated for "aggravated assault with hands, fist, and feet," charges are unlikely because he's "under the age of reasoning," Local 10 reports. (Read more Florida stories.)

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