MCCLENNY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff is crediting an observant elementary school teacher for speaking up when a student came to class with a cut and bruises on his face.

Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden said on Facebook that the boy's guardians — 38-year-old Kenneth Haley and his 59-year-old mother Carmen Yeomans — are accused of tying him up at night to keep him from eating, and of beating him so badly he required medical attention.

Deputies said he had bruises behind an ear and above his eye, and a cut on his forehead.

The Florida Department of Children and Families removed the boy and his three siblings. Officials said Haley was violating his probation in a child neglect case.

Teachers are legally required to report suspicions of abuse or neglect in Florida.