Linda McCall, 60, committed the offences on pupils between the ages of five and seven, between 2016 and 2017.
McCall was sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid community work at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The BBC reports that the Scottish Borders Council has set up an independent investigation to look into how it handled complaints about the teacher. They also report that parents have accused the council of “covering up” a catalogue of attacks and have launched civil proceedings.
The local authority says it wants to “fully understand” what happened at the time.
Marina Urie, a senior lawyer with Thompsons Solicitors which represents the families of the children who were assaulted, said the public would be “aghast” that McCall had received a community service.
Ms Urie told the said that the council should now “apologise unreservedly” to the families and described the lack of apology as “shameful.”
An NSPCC Scotland spokesperson said: “As a teacher, McCall’s role was to nurture and care for these young children but instead she treated them cruelly by physically and emotionally abusing them.
“The tragedy of this case is compounded by the fact that McCall’s victims had special educational needs, which meant they were largely unable to verbalise the abuse they had experienced.
“Abuse can have a profound and long-lasting effect on children and it is so important that those involved in this case receive all the support they need to help them recover. Anyone who is concerned about the wellbeing of a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 8005000 or email [email protected]”