School Rehires Teacher Who Soaked Autistic Boy's Crayons in Hot Sauce

A school district in Florida is being forced to rehire an elementary school teacher who was fired last year after she allegedly force-fed hot-sauce-soaked crayons to a special needs student.

Lillian Gomez denied feeding the crayons to students, but confessed to soaking the crayons in hot sauce for several days before placing them in a bag labeled with an autistic boy's name.

She claimed it was in an effort to deter the child from eating the crayons.

Following her termination from Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee, Gomez appealed the decision before an administrative law judge, who ruled in her favor.

The Osceola County School District refused to rehire Gomez, so she took her case to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, and won again.

The judge ruled that Gomez's actions were "not so egregious" [pdf] that her "effectiveness" as a teacher could be decided in a court of law.

"We lost the appeal, so by law we have to comply by the courts," a school district spokeswoman told ABC News. "We don't want to come out and say anything bad about the teacher or say anything to worry parents."

It remains unclear when Gomez will be rehired or where she will work.

Though she will not be returning to Sunshine, the district's spokeswoman said she will be placed in an elementary school environment to provide "support" to other teachers, including teachers of special needs children.

"She proved already that she's a danger inside a classroom," Jose Holguin, the father of Gomez's autistic victim, told WFTV. "What else can she do to prove to the system that she doesn't have it?"

[screengrab via ActionNewsJax]