Deputies: Brevard County teacher abused special needs students

Mila Elementary VPK teacher charged with child abuse

Published On: Nov 28 2012 06:11:24 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 29 2012 11:06:16 AM EST
COCOA, Fla. -

A Brevard County teacher is accused of abusing two children in what deputies called "malicious punishment," according to authorities.

Alison Workman, 35, turned herself in Wednesday afternoon, but the investigation started early this month, authorities said.

Deputies with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said a tip provided to a child abuse hotline sparked the month-long investigation into the voluntary pre-kindergarten teacher who worked at Mila Elementary School in Merritt Island.

Authorities said they believe Workman physically abused two children by "yanking" and "grabbing" them and leaving "marks and scratches."

Workman taught exceptional students. Typically, such teachers have more training than most educations. Still, deputies said Workman's actions were not age-appropriate.

Deputies told Local 6 that witnesses said she punished the children "out of anger and frustration."

"Why would she want to take care of children if she doesn't like children? That's wrong," said Alaina Bassett ,of Merritt Island. "I think she should lose her job."

It's unclear how long the alleged abuse went on, or if it was an isolated incident.

Deputies said Workman faces two counts of child abuse for the two victims, who are both 4 years old.

"They're just tiny, little kids. Those are just babies. They don't know right from wrong yet and she's teaching them that everything they do is wrong by treating them that way," said Bassett.

The Department of Children and Families is investigating and said Workman has no previous history of child abuse allegations against her.

The Brevard County School District has yet to respond to Local 6's questions about the case, but deputies said when these allegations came out, a DCF spokeswoman said Workman was immediately removed from the classroom.

Workman was released from jail Thursday morning after posting bond.