By Ashley Dunbar

A Merritt Island preschool teacher, Laura Carmichael, was arrested last week after being accused of beating a student, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

In an arrest affidavit, deputies said that a child was picked up from Tick Tock Kids Academy on Friday after “being disruptive and placed in timeout twice.” However, the child said the teacher had “kicked, slapped and flipped her off for being bad,” the affidavit reads.

Merritt Island teacher accused of beating child

To be convicted of child abuse, the state has to prove:

  1. The defendant knowingly or willfully abused another by:
  2. intentionally inflicting physical and/or mental injury.
  3. committing an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical and/or mental injury.


  1. actively encouraging another person to commit an act that resulted in or could reasonably have been expected to result in physical and/or mental injury.
  2. The child was under the age of 18 years.

There is a parental affirmative defense to child abuse which states that it is not a crime for a parent or a person who is acting in place of a parent of a child to impose reasonable physical discipline on a child for misbehavior under the circumstances even though physical injury resulted from the discipline.

Accordingly, the evidence would need to show that the teacher acted unreasonably when disciplining the child. In an interview with detectives, Carmichael explained that she hadn’t kicked the child, but instead tried to guide the child to timeout by placing her foot on the child’s, the affidavit says.

During that time, the child struggled and tried to wiggle away, causing Carmichael to grab the child’s arm and force her into the timeout seat, at which time Carmichael slapped the back of the child’s head, the affidavit states.

The case would thus hinge on how excessive Carmichael’s discipline was and whether it was necessary to stop the child’s misbehavior.

If you or your loved one are being accused of committing a crime, you should consult with one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.