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Teacher Accused Of Breaking Student's Arm
11-Year-Old's Arm Broken In School

WPLG-TV, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A., May 12, 2004

MIAMI -- An 11-year-old girl has her broken arm in a cast, and the child says her teacher broke it.

Maritza Mendes said that her daughter, Millie Richard, is a student at Highland Oaks Middle School in Aventura. She said Millie told her that on May 5, when she covered her mouth and made a waving motion because she thought one of her teachers "smelled like cigarettes," teacher Pamela Williams grabbed her arm and bent it back. Millie said when she did, her arm "snapped."

Williams said that she thought Millie's behavior was disruptive and that she was doing more than just waving her hand -- she thought Millie might hit the other teacher.

Now, an attorney representing Mendes and her daughter says that the teacher used too much force, and even if the teacher believed the student made a "threatening gesture," the force was excessive.

Millie is reportedly an exceptional student, defined as having "special needs" by the school system.

Mendez said besides being upset about her daughter's broken arm, she is also disturbed that even though Williams admitted to hearing the snapping sound when Millie's arm broke, no one called medical personnel. Williams said she wasn't notified about the incident until an hour later.

Millie will be wearing a cast for the next six weeks. She has been removed from the classroom until the investigation is complete.

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