A south Florida teacher was taken to the hospital last week after she was attacked by a 5-year-old student, leaving her “dazed” and “unresponsive,” officials said Monday.
The unidentified instructor was found by first responders “sitting on the ground against the wall” and “appearing to be in a faint state” at Pines Lakes Elementary School, about 15 miles southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale, according to a heavily redacted Pembroke Pines Police Department incident report.
The victim was “clearly weak and dazed,” able to “blink and breathe regularly but at no point was able to vocally respond or show signs of a response,” the report said.
The troubling incident started when a 5-year-old boy had to be removed from class for “throwing things around” and “flipping the chairs,” police said.
The youngster was taken to an empty “cool down” room, where the attack on the teacher allegedly took place, police said.
The teacher was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood and has since been released, officials said.
While the young suspect is still being investigated for possible “aggravated assault with hands, fist and feet,” it’s unlikely he’ll be criminally prosecuted, a police spokesman told NBC News on Monday.
Prosecutors would be hard pressed to show that this 5-year-old had the ability distinguish right from wrong, the police representative said.
The victim, in her late 30s or early 40s, is about 5-foot-4 with a slender frame, Broward Teachers Union President Anna Fusco told NBC News on Monday.
She suffered a concussion and other injuries after the “enraged” special education student, between 50 and 60 pounds, unleashed on the teacher, according to the union chief.
The instructor had been leading an “exceptional student education” class with a “group of children with some type of special needs or special disability, with all kinds of different diagnoses,” according to Fusco.
“The way he pounced on her and the way she fell backwards and smacked her head, it was a severe concussion,” Fusco said.
“She’s got some other bodily injuries from him jumping on her, attacking her, kicking, punching, biting that’s going to lead to surgery.”
Broward County Public Schools officials referred all questions to police.
The district, though, did share a message that Principal Susan Sasse sent to parents and staff, acknowledging there had been “an incident that occurred in school” which required “a staff member to be transported to a local medical facility” on Wednesday.
“At all times during the incident, our campus was secured,” Sasse reported. “As always, the health, safety and well being of our students and staff continues to be my highest priority.”
The school has nearly 800 students, who range in age from pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade.