Last June, Cynthia Ambrose, 44, was convicted of official oppression for ordering her kindergarten students at Salinas Elementary School to line up and slap a student who had allegedly been bullying his classmates.
On Tuesday, District Judge Sid Harle sentenced Ambrose to two years probation and ordered her to spend 30 days in jail under a work-release program if she qualifies.
“This is absolutely a parent’s worst nightmare,” said Harle. “They send their children to you out of their sight -- out of their custody -- for the major portion of the day and they trust you.”
During her sentencing hearing, Ambrose called two character witnesses, who said she was a good parent, a good person and involved in her community in a positive way.
Following sentencing, District Attorney Susan Reed called the case disturbing and said she fears the message Ambrose was sending her students could go well beyond the classroom.
“That’s not what we want to instill in our children,” Reed said. “It’s been a constant struggle in the domestic violence arena because it becomes learned behavior.”