Kissimmee teacher's aide accused of violently shaking 6-year-old girl at school

Flora Ridge Elementary School aide arrested on child abuse charges

Franklin Santos Jr.
Franklin Santos Jr.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – A Kissimmee elementary school assistant teacher was arrested Thursday on allegations of violently shaking a 6-year-old special-needs student.

Franklin Santos Jr., who works at Flora Ridge Elementary School on Dyer Boulevard, was arrested on charges of child abuse.

According to Kissimmee police, a school employee called authorities after witnessing Santos allegedly shaking the girl, who is autistic and non-verbal.

The witness said students from a special-needs class entered the cafeteria and Santos told the girl to pick up a tray, according to police.  The girl refused and threw herself on the floor, the witness told police, adding that Santos picked the child off the floor and started shaking her violently.  

The girl did not appear to be injured, police said.

Santos, who police say did not cooperate with their investigation, was taken to the Osceola County Jail and was being held on $1,000 bond.

The Osceola County School Board told Local 6 that Santos has been removed from the school and will be reassigned at a location that doesn't have any children. He will remain there pending the outcome of the investigation and legal proceedings, school officials said.

The Department of Children and Families will investigate.