The Texas kindergarten teacher accused of having her students line up and slap a fellow student says the child was hit by his fellow classmates, but that she never told them to line up or forced them to hit him
It's a distinction that Cynthia Ambrose - who no longer works at the school - wanted to make.
"Twenty-four kids did not hit him," Ambrose told local ABC affiliate KSAT. "Three did pretend hits, but one girl, she hit him in the back and it sounded loud."
Ambrose was accused this week by the mother of Aiden Neely, a 6-year-old kindergarten student at Salinas Elementary School, near San Antonio, Texas, of having 24 other students in the class line up and slap her son one-by-one to as a punishment for bullying.
"He was hit on the head, in the face, on the back. And all the kids hit him twice," Amy Neely, the boy's mother, told ABC News. "He had friends in that class, and friends didn't want to hit him, but the teacher instructed them to hit him."
Ambrose, whose identity had been previously withheld by officials with the Judson Independent School District, says she was asked by Aiden's teacher to help discipline the boy who, she said, had been a subject of complaints from other parents and had just punched and kicked two fellow students.
She told KSAT she asked Aiden's teacher, "Do you want my kids to show him what it feels like?" and then took the matter into her own hands, asking the class how they thought Aiden should be punished.
Ambrose described what happened next as out of her control, saying the students surrounded Aiden on their own and one, a girl, slapped him on his back.
The incident occurred in early May, but Neely was not informed about it until weeks later when the principal called.
"The teacher told him not to tell us," said Neely. "My stomach was in knots. It was horrible."
Sources earlier told ABC News that Ambrose had been fired, but the 11-year teaching veteran says she resigned.
"I love my job and I'm never going to get to do it again," she said.
She also told KSAT that a Judson official told her, "I'm a bully and that I'm a danger to kids."
Ambrose is under investigation by the Bexar County District Attorney's Office for a possible misdemeanor charge of official oppression, a felony. In Texas, it amounts to a public servant who misuses their position.