Arcadia teacher arrested for abusing elementary student, shoving paper towel in mouth

Posted at 2:32 PM, Dec 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-09 14:32:19-05

ARCADIA, Fla. -- A DeSoto County teacher is facing Aggravated Child Abuse charges, accused of trying to stuff a paper towel down a student's throat.

33-year-old Carol Pauls, a teacher at Nocatee Elementary School, has since been suspended.

According to deputies, the arrest came after an incident on November 28th with a special needs third-grader.  Two assistant teacher aids that were in the room during the incident told investigators that Pauls was dealing with the student, who was having behavioral issues.  They said the student was spitting so Pauls got a paper towel to wipe the student's face.  They heard Pauls yell "he bit me" and saw the napkin in his mouth.

One of the assistants removed the towel, but when the child began screaming again they say Pauls shoved another towel in his mouth.

Pauls told investigators that the child ate some of the towel when he bit her, and says she got frustrated and told the child "fine then...just choke on it."  She denies shoving a 2nd towel in the child's mouth.

Investigators arrested Pauls at the school on Thursday and transported her to county jail on charges of Aggravated Child Abuse.