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North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts teacher suspended without pay, accused of dragging student

·2 min read
Ada Cortez-Bromley, a first-grade teacher at the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts was suspended without pay after being accused of dragging, striking and pushing a student.
Ada Cortez-Bromley, a first-grade teacher at the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts was suspended without pay after being accused of dragging, striking and pushing a student.

A first-grade teacher at North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts accused of dragging, striking and pushing a student was suspended without pay on Tuesday.

Ada Cortez-Bromley, who has been employed with the Lee County School District since 2006, and her lawyer did not attend a school board hearing Tuesday.

Cortez-Bromley's case will now go in front of the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings. The board said they will follow that hearing's recommendation.

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The Petition for Termination describes camera footage taken on Jan. 28 the school district says shows Cortez-Bromley dragging a first-grade student down the hallway of the academy.

She then picked up the student under her arm while striking and pushing the student in the head, according to the petition.

The school district would not provide the video footage because the investigation is still open.

When contacted Thursday, Cortez-Bromley said she would not provide comment on the ongoing investigation and referred The News-Press to her lawyer Mark Herdman, who did not respond to requests for comment.

Cortez-Bromley did not deny the allegations made against her but instead "explained that the student was being difficult that day," according to the Petition for Termination. She also did not call for assistance before dragging the student.

Read the full petition here

This isn't the first time Cortez-Bromley has faced discipline in the district. In 2012, she falsified information on a school form for free and reduced meals for students, and in 2018 she was disciplined for not addressing her students in a professional manner, according to the petition.

As of Friday, Cortez-Bromley still retained her teaching license with the state, according to the Florida Department of Education.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation and determined there was no probable cause for arrest, according to Caitlyn Mumma, manager of public affairs for the sheriff's office.

Nikki Ross covers education for the Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News. She can be reached at NRoss@gannett.com or follow her on Twitter @nikkiinreallife.

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Lee County teacher suspended, accused of dragging, striking student