A teacher was suspended Wednesday after she allegedly washed a student’s mouth out with hand sanitizer in Wellington, Florida, in October.
Polo Park Middle School teacher Guyette Duhart was given a ten-day suspension without pay after she reportedly squeezed sanitizer gel into the student’s mouth because he would not be quiet, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The student said he was talking loudly in class when Duhart told him he needed to have his mouth washed out, then she took the bottle of sanitizer from her desk and instructed him to come near her.
Six of his fellow students told investigators they saw the science teacher pump the sanitizer into the boy’s mouth.
However, Duhart admitted she held the bottle close to his mouth but claimed he grabbed it from her and did it himself. A few moments later, the boy spit onto the floor, then left the room.
“I was really unaware that anything occurred until he left,” Duhart told investigators, adding, “He returned to the class and I allowed him to wash out his mouth.”
Following the investigation, the school district concluded that the allegation against the teacher was substantiated.
This week, the Palm Beach County School Board approved Duhart’s suspension that will go into effect March 12, according to WPTV.
Following the board’s vote, she was reassigned from the school as she appeals the suspension.
“It was the first time Duhart has been formally disciplined in her 12 years working in Palm Beach County’s public schools,” according to the Post.
One lick of hand sanitizer cannot hurt or kill a person, but ingesting a large amount could cause sickness if not treated immediately, the National Capital Poison Center’s (NCPC) website read.
“A child would need to drink from the bottle and would probably quickly vomit, because alcohol and soap irritate the stomach. A child who drank from the bottle and didn’t vomit right away could become seriously ill,” the site concluded.