Teacher faces firing for hitting students

Jan. 16, 2004 at 11:58 AM

PHOENIX, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- An Arizona English teacher is about to be fired for allegedly hitting students for speaking Spanish in class.

Kim Youngblood, who taught seventh graders at Ingleside Middle School in Phoenix, told investigators she was enforcing the district's English immersion program and did not intend to injure the children, the Arizona Republic reported Friday.

Youngblood described the physical contact as "a gentle touch on the shoulders or a tap on the wrist."

The school investigation said Youngblood hit eight students at the east Phoenix school. The district said the hits ranged from slaps on the forearm to strikes with a pen. Some children said they were hit multiple times.

Youngblood responded by filing a lawsuit against the district Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court, accusing officials of malicious prosecution, conspiracy and libel. She is asking for damages of at least $100,000 and compensatory and punitive damages of $1 million.

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