ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — A St. Lucie County middle school teacher is under arrest for child abuse after authorities said she threw a broken metal broom handle at a student then hit him at least twice with it.
Cyntyche Darling Lundy, 49, of Port St. Lucie, has been fired from her job at Forest Grove Middle School near Fort Pierce, according to a St. Lucie Public Schools spokeswoman.
According to Darling Lundy's arrest report, students and staff members who witnessed the incident said the teacher was using a broom to sweep her classroom on April 19 when the metal handle broke off.
The victim, whose age has not been released, picked up the broken handle and ran with it, according to witnesses.
Darling Lundy then took the broken piece away from the student and cut her hand while doing so.
According to the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, the victim said Darling Lundy became "angered by his behavior" and threw the broken broom handle at him, missing him but breaking a computer screen.
The victim said Darling Lundy "became angered and chased him," pinned him between two desks, then hit him three times with the broken broom handle on his leg, hand, and arm.
Darling Lundy's arrest report stated a Snapchat video appeared to show the teacher striking the victim with the handle twice.
According to Darling Lundy's statement to Forest Grove Middle School officials, the student was "acting in a playful manner after not following instruction."
Darling Lundy claimed the student picked up the broken broom piece and was running around with it.
"The stick had a sharp point and [Darling Lundy] did not want anyone getting hurt," the teacher said in her statement to school officials. Darling Lundy said she cut her hand when she took the broken piece from the student.
According to Darling Lundy's statement, she cleaned her wound and the student went back to his desk.
"She did not write the victim up because it was a 'Playful' interaction. She said she later gave him chewing gum, and the next day, asked for a hug," according to Darling Lundy's statement.
Darling Lundy was arrested in Palm Beach County around 6 p.m. on April 22 and bonded out of jail three hours later.
A spokeswoman for St. Lucie Public Schools released the following statement to WPTV about Darling Lundy's arrest:
"St. Lucie Public Schools is aware of serious allegations against a teacher. The school district is working closely with our local law enforcement partners. The alleged behavior is intolerable and reprehensible. As a result of the initial investigation, the teacher has been terminated. This behavior represents a total disregard for SLPS’s mission to provide a safe and caring teaching and learning environment and such behavior is not tolerated."