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Tim Howard
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THE SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS REPORTEDLY AGREED TO PAY MORE THAN $52,000 TO SETTLE A LAWSUIT A FORMER TEACHER MISTREATED A DISABLED GIRL.  ACCORDING TO THE HERALD TRIBUNE, THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT SAY THE PARENTS OF THE GIRL WOULD DROP THE LAWSUIT BUT WOULD STILL BE ABLE TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM DIANA O’NEILL, WHO TAUGHT AT VENICE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL UNTIL 2008.  O’NEILL WAS SUSPENDED AFTER BEING ARRESTED ON CHILD ABUSE CHARGES, BUT AFTER SHE WAS ACQUITTED IN A TRIAL SHE KEPT HER JOB, BUT HAS NOT BEEN CLEARED TO RETURN TO TEACHING.  SHE IS CURRENTLY WORKING IN THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S RECORDS DEPARTMENT MAKING $78,000 A YEAR.  O’NEILL COULD STILL LOSE HER TEACHING CERTIFICATE AS HER CASE IS SCHEDULED TO BE HEARD BY AN ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE ON JANUARY 25TH.  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS THEY STILL FACE THREE MORE LAWSUITS FROM PARENTS OF STUDENTS WHO CLAIM THEIR CHILDREN WERE ABUSED IN O’NEILL’S CLASS.