Police say Myrtle Beach teacher put detergent in austistic child’s mouth

vgrooms@thesunnews.comAugust 31, 2013 


— An Horry County Schools special education teacher was arrested Friday after allegedly putting dish detergent in a child’s mouth, then striking the child with a dustpan.

Moncille Vaglienti Thomas, 57, of North Myrtle Beach was charged with unlawful neglect of a child, according to a report from the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

Police responded to Myrtle Beach Intermediate School on Thursday in reference to a call of an alleged assault, the report said. A witness told officers that Thomas placed dish detergent on her fingers and then placed her fingers in the victim’s mouth in order to discipline the child for spitting.

The offender then struck the victim with a dustpan twice in the chest area, the report said. The victim is a nonverbal, autistic special needs child.

Thomas has 28 years of experience in education and is on administrative leave with pay, effective Friday, pending the results of the investigation, said Teal Harding, district spokeswoman.

Thomas joined the district in 2004 as a special education teacher at North Myrtle Beach Elementary School and taught at North Myrtle Beach Middle School and Loris Middle School before transferring to Myrtle Beach Intermediate Aug. 6, Harding said. Thomas worked for the Charleston County and Brunswick County school districts before joining Horry County Schools.

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