FORT LAUDERDALE – A substitute teacher at Sunrise Middle School has been arrested after allegedly pushing a student into a TV, leaving him with an open, bleeding cut to the head that reportedly required stitches.
Lemika Watkins, 29, is charged with one count of battery where bodily harm was caused, according to Fort Lauderdale police.
Watkins, of Fort Lauderdale, was taken into custody and booked into the Broward County main jail on Jan. 13. She was released the next day after posting a $1,000 bond.
“Lemika Watkins was a substitute teacher at the school when the incident occurred,” Broward School District spokesman Andrew Feirstein said. “She was removed from the classroom and temporarily removed from the district’s substitute teacher list.’’
Watkins earned $14.08 per hour as a substitute teacher. She was hired on Sept. 2, 2005.She was a floating substitute teacher who happened to be working at Sunrise Middle at the time of the incident.
Citing the confidential nature of the investigation, Feirstein said he did not know what course Watkins was teaching at the time of the incident with the student. He declined to release the name, age or grade of the student involved.
The South Florida Times has learned that the student is a 14-year-old, eighth-grade boy who has excellent grades. He lives in Pompano Beach, and attends Sunrise Middle School as one of only about 450 students in the school’s Montessori Magnet Program.
Phone messages left at the student’s home were not returned.
Joe Melita, chief of the school district’s Special Investigations Unit, further confirmed the incident.
“It is under administrative review. Basically by our policy, she is a substitute teacher and we remove the person from the position, and then it goes to a committee,” Melita explained. “We don’t share information about the case until 10 days after the process has been completed.’’
Pictured above is Lemika Watkins.