Teacher suspended for washing boy's mouth with hand sanitizer

Justin Chan

A Florida middle school teacher was suspended after she allegedly put hand sanitizer in a student’s mouth, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Last Wednesday, the Palm Beach County school board suspended Guyette Duhart, a science teacher at Polo Park Middle School, for an incident that occurred on Oct. 14, 2019. The unidentified student told a school administrator that he was talking loudly when Duhart told him he should wash his mouth with soap.

According to investigators, the teacher grabbed a bottle of Up & Up-brand hand sanitizer and told the student to approach her. Six students told the investigators that Duhart then pumped the sanitizer into the student’s mouth.

Though she acknowledged she had moved the sanitizer near the student’s mouth, the teacher claimed that the student took the bottle from her and pumped it into his own mouth, according to the Post.

Investigators said the student then spit the sanitizer out and left the classroom. When the boy returned to the room, Duhart said she allowed him to go to the bathroom to rinse his mouth, the investigation further noted.

“I was really unaware that anything occurred until he left,” Duhart reportedly said. “He returned to the class and I allowed him to wash out his mouth.”

According to the Post, school district officials concluded that the allegations were legitimate and handed Duhart a 10-day suspension without pay. Records revealed that it was the first time the teacher had been disciplined during her 12 years working in Palm Beach County’s public schools.

Duhart is currently working in an alternative assignment while appealing her suspension.