DISTURBING: Autistic Child Abused at School in Okaloosa County, Three Educators Arrested

FORT WALTON BEACH, FL (WKRG) -- A Fort Walton Beach teacher has been charged with child abuse after an investigation revealed she allegedly committed several despicable actions against a special needs student.

An investigation into the allegations at Kenwood Elementary School from 2015 to 2016 led to the arrest of Marylnn Stillons of Destin, who faces four charges of child abuse against one of her former autistic students.  Former Kenwood Elementary School Principal Angelyn Vaughan and internal investigations employee Arden Farley also face charges related to the accusations not being reported in an official capacity.

According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Stillons sprayed the autistic student, who is non-verbal, and other children with vinegar or water as a form of punishment.  Stillons is also accused of using her foot to push the student to the floor, and kneeing the child in the chin.

The victim's father learned of the allegations and turned them over to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, which launched an independent criminal investigation.

"Based upon the sworn statements of multiple witnesses and other information gathered the OCSO has charged Stillions with four counts of child abuse without great bodily harm," said the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office in a statement.

Farley, who conducts internal investigations for the School District, is charged with failure to report suspected child abuse, as is former Principal Vaughan of Fort Walton Beach.

OCSO Investigators say Farley and Vaughan were aware of the allegations and failed to make a mandatory report to the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline as required by Florida law.

More tonight on WKRG from News 5's Katrice Nolan.


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