A Florida elementary school teacher who was fired for feeding crayons and Playdough laced with hot sauce to an autistic child is now being reinstated, after a judge rejected the school district’s appeal to keep her out.
Lillian Gomez lost her job at Sunrise Elementary School in February 2012, after officials discovered she had soaked crayons in hot sauce for days and then put them in a bag with the student’s name on it.
She claimed it was a deterrent from eating her art supplies and denied that she force-fed the student the crayons.
The Osceola County School District lost an appeal on Thursday to keep her out of the classroom. Now Gomez will be reassigned to another school where she will again have access to special needs children.
"We lost the appeal, so by law we have to comply by the courts," school district spokeswoman Dana Schafer told ABC News. "We don't want to come out and say anything bad about the teacher or say anything to worry parents."
A Fifth District Appeals judge said that the school district failed to prove that Gomez was attempting to punish students.
Parents were shocked by the order.
"That's kind of ridiculous," said Todd Cinetti told ABC News. "Maybe she shouldn't work with children. Maybe she should find another career."
"She proved already that she's a danger inside a classroom," Jose Holguin said. "What else can she do to prove to the system that she doesn't have it?"
The details of her reinstatement haven’t been finalized, but she could return to the classroom within weeks.