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A Giunta Middle School teacher was arrested on Friday
afternoon after slapping a student in her classroom. Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office were called to Giunta Middle School, 4202 S Falkenburg Road, in Riverview just before noon on Friday, after a 13-year-old male student reported that his teacher, Sheila Vakili, struck him in the face during class. The victim, in addition to multiple students in his classroom at the time of the incident, was interviewed by deputies. Their stories were consistent in saying that the victim made a profane comment during class. Vakili heard the comment and believed the student called her a profane name. According to the students, Vakili smacked the victim in his face with enough force to cause redness and swelling.
The student's parents were called to the school. Vakili refused to be interviewed by deputies at the advising of her attorney and a representative from a teachers union. Vakili was arrested for Simple Battery-Child Abuse.
"The safety of our Hillsborough County students is something we take very seriously," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "A teacher is supposed to be a role model to the young people in their classrooms and set an example for how to behave, even at a time of frustration. It is never acceptable for a teacher to become physically violent with a student."