EDUCATION
05/29/2012 01:57 pm ET Updated May 30, 2012

Amy Lapiccirella, Florida Mom, Says School Punished Daughter By Seating Her At Special Needs Table

A mother in St. Petersburg, Fla. says that her fourth-grade daughter was punished for misbehaving by being seated with special needs students in her school cafeteria.

Amy Lapiccirella told WFLA/News Channel 8 that the disciplinary action was improper.

"I think that's fostering bullying, and it's not teaching tolerance," Lapiccirella said. "And it's teaching that children with special needs are a punishment."

A spokesperson for Pinellas County School District told WFLA that students in trouble are occasionally sent to tables with empty seats and not to any specific table for punishment.

The incident comes on the heels of other recent scandals involving unusual punishments -- in San Antonio, two teachers were suspended for an incident in which students were instructed to slap another student accused of bullying.

And earlier last month, a teacher in Zephyrhills, Fla. was disciplined for putting a dog collar on students who came late to class. The punishment, called the "cone of shame" by the teacher, was revealed when photos of students wearing the collar were posted on Facebook.

Correction: A previous version of this piece had an incorrect spelling of the Pinellas County School District.

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