Teacher’s aide arrested for hitting a child in the head

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A School Resource Officer arrested a 63-year-old Teacher's Aide after he kicked a chair out from one student and hit another student on the head at a Charlotte County school.

It happened Thursday inside the cafeteria of Baker Early Learning Center on East Charlotte Avenue.

Anthony Del Priore was seen on school surveillance video kicking a chair out from a four-year-old as they tried to sit down, causing the student to hit their head. He then sternly grabbed their arm and walked them across the room.

Del Priore then hit another four-year-old twice on the head before grabbing them by the mouth and pulling their head back.

“I was horrified. They’re only four years old, and this shouldn’t have happened,” said Baker parent Samantha Muirhead.

Her four-year-old son, Colton, interacted with the aide daily.

“My son gave him a hug a few times, he just seemed like a normal nice guy,” said Muirhead.

Muirhead said she was angry because the school did not notify her of the abuse until Friday morning.

“They’re stunned. Because this is a place, honestly, there’s babies here, little babies up to 4 years old, and the people that work here are fond of the children. They love them, and they’re good to them every day,” the school's Community Liaison, Mike Reily said.

A food delivery driver who witnessed the abuse reported it immediately to both police and the Department of Children and Families.

Del Priore was arrested and charged with two counts of felony child abuse.

He has since bonded out of Charlotte County Jail, and the school said he will not be allowed to return to Baker Early Learning Center.

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