Accused former kind­ergarten teacher speaks out

Cynthia Ambrose denies 6-year-old was hit by her 24 students

SAN ANTONIO - Cynthia Ambrose said she is willing to take a lie detector test to prove what really happened to a 6-year-old boy who was brought to her classroom by his teacher last month.


Ambrose said, “24 kids did not hit him.”

The now former kindergarten teacher has been in the midst of a media firestorm, yet she says the accusations against her are false.

She said she never ordered her students to hit or slap Aiden Neely, and neither was he held down or kicked.

“Three did pretend hits, but one girl, she hit him in the back and it sounded loud,” Ambrose said.

So loud that Ambrose said it alarmed her, but Aiden never cried.

Instead, she said Aiden stayed in her classroom, finishing his work.

“Even after all that, every time I’d see him in the hallways, he’d run up and hug me. He’d also come by my room to say good morning,” Ambrose said.

Ambrose said other kindergarten teachers would often bring her their students who were misbehaving because she has a loud voice and is able to get their attention.

She said Aiden’s teacher told her, “He had just punched a girl in the stomach. He had kicked someone else.”

Ambrose said the teacher also had received notes from two different parents complaining about Aiden’s behavior.

She said she did ask Aiden’s teacher, “Do you want my kids to show him what it feels like?”

When she agreed, Ambrose said she asked her class what the consequences should be, intending it to be a “teachable moment.”

She said some of the five and six year olds in her class suggested he be put in time out or not be allowed to go to recess.

After others piped up that Aiden should be hit as well, Ambrose said before she knew it, several students had gathered around the boy, and that’s when the little girl slapped Aiden in the back.

Ambrose said the situation then returned to normal, but she’s now afraid of what people will say or do without knowing the truth.

She said a Judson official has told her, “I’m a bully and that I’m a danger to kids.”

“That hurts, because I love my job,” Ambrose said.

Ambrose is now under investigation by the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, facing a possible misdemeanor charge of official oppression, or injury to a child, a felony.

The 11-year veteran of the Judson School District said she also taught special education, and has been a victim’s advocate for Rape Crisis Centers in San Antonio and Laredo, where her father has been a longtime police officer.

She said her biggest regret is that Aiden’s teacher did not follow her advice that he be taken to the principal’s office for an in-school suspension.

Ambrose said she has since resigned.

She said, “I love my job and I’m never going to get to do it again.”


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