KINGS MILLS, OH (FOX19) - The former special needs teacher at Columbia Elementary who's being accused of "torture" in a federal lawsuit could now lose her license. The Ohio Department of Education sent a notice to Amanda Kitcho and the Kings Local School District, which employed her at the time.
The letter, obtained by FOX19, accuses Kitcho of eight violations, all of which are contained in "Count 1." The document describes the allegations this way:
- "A. In an effort to get Student 1 to stop his chewing behavior, you shoved the table while Student 1 had his mouth on the edge of the table, hitting Student 1 in the mouth.
- "B. You argued with Student 2 and threw his backpack into the trash. Your conduct resulted in Student 2 throwing a temper tantrum and disrupting class.
- "C. You pushed Student 3 out of her wheelchair onto the floor. Student 3 then stated she hated you and you replied back to Student 3 that you hated her too.
- "D. You taped Student 3 to her chair. You then left Student 3 in the bathroom taped to her chair while Student 3 screamed for help.
- "E. You took food and drink items from Student 4's lunch and ate them in front of Student 4 causing distress for Student 4.
- "F. You yelled out Student 5's name just to make him jump.
- "G. You pushed Student 6 away from you on several occasions. You also yelled at Student 6 for wanting his mother. You escalated arguments with students and would consistently yell at them.
- "H. You lied to parents with false progress logs."
Throughout much of FOX19's investigation of Kitcho, which revealed these allegations nearly a year ago, the Ohio Department of Education's online database included a special notation in the 33-year-old's profile that any school considering hiring her should call ODE first. That notation does not appear to be on there today, at least not on the database accessible by the public.
Education officials have been investigating Kitcho's interactions with her special needs students for some time. The state's educator database indicates her license is already due to expire June 30. If the state permanently revokes her license, not only could she not renew it, she would never be allowed to teach again in Ohio.
We have requested a comment from Kitcho's attorney about the allegations from ODE but have not yet heard back.
The letter from ODE indicates Kitcho has until February 23 to request a hearing. If she does, she or her attorney will be allowed to call witnesses and cross-examine those testifying against her.