CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A pre-kindergarten teacher with a history of performance problems may now lose her job over allegations of being too forceful with her special needs students.
Shawna Driggers is facing termination at a school board hearing Tuesday afternoon. Monday, WINK News obtained the district complaint against her, laying out why Superintendent Dr. Nancy Graham believes Driggers should be fired.
A school district investigation found Driggers "improperly restrained a student in her classroom," and that there was "a pattern of inadequate classroom supervision and academic focus."
The investigation also looked into allegations of Driggers being physical with students. In one instance, Driggers "held a student's fingers and pushed them into his wrist," which made the boy cry, the complaint said.
Driggers also reportedly "stood behind the student and held his hands behind his back, while trying to get him to count to 100."
In another instance, Driggers was reportedly "observed by a colleague attempting to force feed a student."
After speaking with classroom parents, the district's complaint says one "indicated that their son would come home from school with bruises on his legs," but since leaving the class "the student's speech improved significantly and he is less obstinate."
The complaint goes on to say Driggers pushed the arm of a biting student into his own mouth. When she was later questioned, documents reveal she told district authorities it was a technique she learned at another campus. Documented emails to Driggers' colleagues refute her claim.
WINK News found Driggers has had problems in the past. In 2012, she was disciplined over "concerns regarding her patience with students, screaming at students, her personal cell phone usage and classroom management concerns."
She was apparently reprimanded again in 2013 "for unsatisfactory performance, including sleeping at her desk and safety concerns."
WINK News attempted to contact Driggers on Monday, placing several calls to numbers under her name, and knocking on the door of a home where we learned Driggers no longer lives. WINK News was not able to reach Driggers for comment.
However, WINK News did reach Driggers' attorney, Robert Coleman. Although Coleman declined to discuss the allegations in the district report, he told WINK News that Driggers has requested an administrative review of the case against her. Because of the appeal, it is likely she will remain suspended without pay pending a review of her case by Florida's Division of Administrative Hearing. A date for the hearing has not been set.
WINK News obtained both the investigative report against Driggers, and her personnel file. In them, WINK News also found a letter of support from a parent who said Driggers was a good instructor for their child.
WINK News exclusively spoke to the first family to file complaints against Driggers.
"My son came home with a purple eye," said mother Gladys Machin.
"I feel like she is not a good teacher for my son or any other kid," said Machin.
Machin also feels the Driggers should be thrown in jail. Back in 2013 the Machin family also reported Driggers to Cape Coral Police for allegedly abusing their son while in school.