Teacher charged with child abuse of a second-grader at Southeast Miami-Dade school

A South Miami-Dade schoolteacher was charged with child abuse with no great bodily harm after she allegedly roughed up a student inside Caribbean Elementary K-8 Center’s cafeteria on Friday.

Toni Gillespie-Boykin, 66, a special-ed teacher, had taught at the school for 23 years and was held on a $5,000 bond, WSVN Channel 7 reported. The second-grader’s father told the station the teacher grabbed his daughter by the hair and dragged her.

The incident happened during an argument among students. The parent said Gillespie-Boykin pushed a tray on his daughter. When she pushed back, the teacher allegedly grabbed the student by her hair and dragged her, leading to bruising on her legs and scratches on her face.

“Immediately upon learning about the disturbing allegations, Miami-Dade Schools Police began its investigation. The employee has since been arrested and dismissal procedures have been initiated. The alleged actions are reprehensible and unacceptable,” said Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, the school system’s chief communications officer.