Jacksonville mother accused of slapping her child in face at school

Incident happened in front of school employees, JSO says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A mother was arrested Tuesday on a charge of child abuse after police say she slapped her child in the face at the child's school.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Daisy Gutierrez-Nichols, 27, slapped her child in front of school employees inside an office at Windy Hill Elementary School.

Three witnesses told investigators the mom swung an open right palm at her son's face, causing him to fall to the floor.

Police were called to the school and the Department of Family Services was notified.

"If a parent would slap a child in front of witnesses, that tells you they will probably do even more in the privacy of their own home," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith. "That's why the police are brought in, the Department of Family Services are brought in to see if this is an abuse case."

News4Jax arrived Wednesday at the mom's home to hear her side of the story. Despite lights being on, no one would answer the door. When News4Jax called the phone number listed on her arrest sheet, we were hung up on.

According to the arrest report, Gutierrez told police she slapped her child because she was upset over him getting into trouble at school.

"The majority of parents would not do that because they understand the law," Smith said. "They understand that they are not to be too physical with their child, so it is somewhat unusual, but I wouldn't rule it out completely, because different things happen with parents and they snap and lash out at the kid."

Smith also said police will look into whether there have been any other complaints against the mother.

Police said the boy had a minor bruise as well as a handprint on his face. One of the teachers told police she never saw any signs of physical abuse.

News4Jax checked and this is Gutierrez's first arrest in Duval County.

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