HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Two parents are suing the Hernando County School Board and three educators after they say their autistic daughter was grabbed by her ponytail several times.

It's a story Spectrum Bay News 9 first told you about in 2016, when Vanessa Mauk-Doane claimed two teachers at Moton Elementary in Brooksville dragged her daughter across the room by her ponytail. 

The lawsuit, filed on January 10, claims two teachers and a paraprofessional abused her daughter in 2016 and 2018 "by pulling, dragging or lifting (Mauk-Done's daughter) by her ponytail and backpack, causing illness, sickness and emotional upheaval with or for no legitimate governmental purpose."

Mauk-Doane said she transferred her daughter to another school in the beginning of this school year because of the alleged abuse. 


Vanessa Mauk-Doane claims teachers at Moton Elementary dragged her daughter across the room by her ponytail.


They're seeking more than $15,000 dollars in damages. 

No charges were ever filed against the educators, but the lawsuit says one teacher was put on probation by the State's Education Practices Commission. 

"I hope for justice and that everybody involved is held accountable for their actions. It has greatly affected my daughter and our family emotionally," Mauk-Doane said.  

The lawsuit also claims the district doesn't have an adequate training program on interactions with special needs students. 

Spectrum Bay News 9 reached out to the Hernando County School District for comment, but was told it could not speak on the pending litigation.