LAKE ALFRED, Fla. – A Lake Alfred Elementary School teacher is fighting to keep her job.
- Students forced to scrub floor with toothbrush
- Teacher fighting to keep job
- No criminal charges were ever filed
Helena Mays was accused of forcing students to scrub floors with a toothbrush as a form of discipline.
Polk County Public Schools recently fulfilled our public records request and released more than 250 pages that revealing new details in the case.
The school district's investigation began in April 27 when a parent complained, saying their child had back pain as a result of toothbrush scrubbing.
In its report, the school district investigator concluded there is "no doubt" Mays made students scrub the floor with a toothbrush. The investigator called that form of punishment unacceptable.
According to the documents, Mays admitted to having three students scrub the floors during class time. Based on interviews with students and witnesses, the school district's investigator believes more students were involved.
The students were sent from other teachers' classrooms to Mays' room for discipline.
One of those teachers called Mays an "amazing teacher" who loves children and is passionate about her job.
According to the documents, Mays claimed the students only scrubbed the floor for 15 minutes. One of the students claimed she had to scrub the floor with the toothbrush for much of the school day.
Another student reported having to do it in front of Mays class while other students laughed at him.
When asked why she chose this method of discipline, Mays told the investigator it was only done after "repeated problems" and "when she ran out of options."
She revealed it had been going on for more than a year.
Mays has worked for the school district for 21 years. She's currently fighting her pending termination and has a hearing on December 6.
Her attorney, Tony Duran declined an interview for this report, stating: "It would be inappropriate for me or my client to comment on pending litigation."
No criminal charges were ever filed against Mays.