Teacher, employee, and former principal arrested in connection to child abuse case

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A Fort Walton Beach teacher is charged with four counts of child abuse in connection with treatment of an autistic child while she was employed at Kenwood Elementary School. Also facing charges are the former principal and a school district employee for not reporting the allegations of child abuse.

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Deputies began investigating in May after receiving a parent's complaint. The parent told deputies his six-year-old child was abused and his child is non-verbal.

The child's father told deputies he had learned of a 2015-2016 investigation by the school district into possible abuse involving teacher Marlynn Stillions, 59, of Destin. The allegations include spraying special needs students in the face with water or vinegar as punishment, using her foot to try to control/move/push a child on the floor, and kneeing the victim in the chin.

When the father gave the paperwork to the sheriff's office, deputies launched an investigation.

Investigators say based on the information gathered, Stillions is charged with four accounts of child abuse with great bodily harm.

School District Employee Arden Farley, 70, of Niceville, is charged with failure to report suspected child abuse as is former Kenwood Elementary School Principal Angelyn Vaughan of Fort Walton Beach.