Right after two days of being named Teacher of the Year, a Florida educator was busted for child abuse. The teacher was caught allegedly hitting a student just because she criticised her for getting the award, says the police.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, last Wednesday the high school teacher Caroline Melanie Lee, 60, who taught English, was proudly hailed for her achievement by the Duval County Public Schools.
On Friday, the English teacher was arrested for being accused of hitting a female pupil in the face and then she left her with a bleeding nose, the arrest report said.
After reading a comment thread on an Instagram post criticizing her new award and accusing her of using the N-word in class, Lee allegedly summoned the student to her office.
The student, who asked not to be identified because she is a minor, told investigators she was too afraid to go to Lee’s office.
However, the teacher stormed into her classroom and demanded that she leave with her, according to the police report. Surveillance footage showed the teacher “walking ahead… at an aggressive pace,” according to the affidavit.
When the teacher was alone in Lee’s classroom, she closed the door and then “reached across the table and struck her on the face with the heel of her palm,” according to the girl.
“Lee then began repeatedly calling her a ‘f—ing bitch’ as she landed several more strikes on the top of her head” and also “kicked her on her lower leg,” she told officers.
Lee admitted being in the classroom, but denied hitting the girl — and “could not explain the bloody nose,” officers said. She also admitted using the N-word in classes, but only while reading it in John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” the arrest warrant said.
High school principal Tyrus Lyles wrote to parents Friday about the “very disappointing” arrest of a teacher “for child abuse.”
“Even more disappointing, the teacher arrested is our recent teacher of the year nominee,” Lyles wrote.
“The teacher has been removed from the classroom and will not return, pending the judicial and internal procedures,” the principal wrote.
District Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene called the allegation “beyond disturbing.”