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No charges for teacher who dragged girl by hair, mother outraged

Her parents admit she can be a handful, but they say the teacher just went too far.

"I was appalled. I don't understand how pulling a child's hair is not considered child abuse especially when it's a teacher," said Vanessa Mauk-Doane.

Six-year-old Isabella Mauk-Doane, who has autism, is still coping with what one of her teachers did to her at Moton Elementary back in May.

"I'm heartbroken I'm disgusted," said Mauk-Doane.

RELATED STORY: Mother outraged DCF, not school, told her of abuse

According to the Hernando School District's investigation, a witness said she saw a teacher drag Isabella by her ponytail five to six feet across the floor and she looked in pain.

"It's heartbreaking it's made me depressed I've been crying all the time," said Mauk-Doane.

The Hernando Sheriff's Office turned the case over to the State Attorney's office for review, but charges weren't filed.

"The State Attorney's office told me because she is a caregiver she has the right to pull her hair," said Mauk-Doane.

The State Attorney's office tells 10News WTSP that corporal punishment is not criminal and a teacher essentially stands in the shoes of the parent. And because Isabella never had any injuries, the alleged action is not child abuse.

"Do you think a teacher should have the right to do that to your child? No," said Mauk-Doane.

The Hernando School District did suspend the teacher for five days without pay, a letter of reprimand, reported it to the Department of Education and required more behavioral training.

"I don't think it's enough she laid her hands on my daughter several times, I think she should be fired. She has no right to touch my daughter; not in the way that she did," Mauk-Doane said.

Mauk-Doane admits Isabella can be a handful but says the teacher just went too far.

"Maybe pulling her by her hand to control her or her arm to control her, but pulling her by her hair to control her is out of line; it's child abuse," said Mauk-Doane.

The case is still open with the Department of Children and Families and the Hernando Sheriff's Office.

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