Assistant preschool teacher in Florida accused of pushing student out of chair, throwing her on floor

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Nicole Franklino (Hillsborough County Jail photo)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An assistant teacher at a Voluntary Prekindergarten program in Florida is facing a felony child abuse charge after deputies say she pushed a student out of a chair and then threw the student on the floor several minutes later.

An arrest report says the incident happened around 11 a.m. Wednesday in Hillsborough County, but does not give an exact location.

According to the report, 32-year-old Nicole Franklino “willfully and maliciously” put her hand on a child’s back and forcefully pushed the child out of her chair. The child laid on the floor crying and holding her back for about four minutes, the report says.

Deputies say Franklino then “forcefully and maliciously” grabbed the girl by her side, lifted her off the ground and threw her onto the floor of another classroom before walking away. The arrest report says the child landed on her feet first before her knees hit the floor. Her head also hit the side of a nearby table, the report states.

According to deputies, the girl suffered minor swelling and a minor bruise along the side of her rib cage where Franklino allegedly grabbed her.

Deputies say the incident was captured on surveillance video and was witnessed by someone else.

The arrest report identifies Franklino as a VPK assistant teacher and says the child involved in the incident was her student.

Franklino was arrested in Brandon on Thursday afternoon and charged with one count of felony child abuse. Online Hillsborough County Jail records show she has since been released.

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