Mayport school teacher investigated over abuse claims

By Scott Johnson, General assignment reporter, sjohnson@wjxt.com
Elizabeth Berry, Evening assignment manager, beth@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 03 2014 09:51:53 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 04 2014 12:18:45 AM EDT

VIDEO: The child's mother says the teacher struck her child on the hand because she thought she was writing on her desk. That teacher at Mayport Middle is under investigation tonight.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Duval County School Board confirmed with Channel 4 that they are investigating a teacher at Mayport Middle School over allegations that she struck a student.

Stacey Best told Channel 4 Thursday night that she was told by a friend who works at Mayport Middle School her daughter had been injured in her classroom.

Best said her daughter's hand was swollen when she went to the school last Friday to pick her up. Best now wants charges filed against the teacher.

"The teacher approached her with a binder, slammed it on her hand and told her to stop writing on the desk," said Best. "I think it's unacceptable. That's a classroom bully, that's assault."

The Ducal County School District Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services told Channel 4 Thursday that they are looking into the allegations.

"We do take these allegations seriously," said DCF spokesperson John Harrell. "We're working closely with (the) school system and in these types of investigations we want to talk to anyone who may have witnessed the alleged incident, as well as the victim. Key thing is we need to look for any evidence."

Harrell told Channel 4 Thursday DCF would prefer if the school district removes the teacher from the classroom while the investigation is ongoing, but said that the claims are only allegations at this point and witnesses are being interviewed.

Channel 4 asked the school district if they had removed the teacher from the classroom, but they would not comment because it's an ongoing investigation.

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