Florida ‘Teacher Of The Year’ Arrested For Child Abuse After Hitting Student And Making Her Nose Bleed

Florida ‘Teacher Of The Year’ Arrested For Child Abuse After Hitting Student And Making Her Nose Bleed CNN/WJXT

Only a few days after being named “Teacher of the Year,” 60-year-old Florida teacher Caroline Lee was arrested and charged with child abuse following an incident at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts, WPTV reports. According to the victim, Lee hit her and made her nose bleed after she questioned why the educator received her recent honor.

  1. The victim’s statement was harrowing. According to the unnamed victim, she went into her first-period class on Friday and her teacher said that Lee wanted to talk to her. The victim then went to Lee’s classroom and asked the student why she’d threatened her. The student insisted she’d never threatened Lee, but that’s when things escalated.
  2. Lee reached across the table and hit her with the palm of her hand. The victim went on to tell police that Lee called her obscene names and kept hitting her on the top of her head as her nose bled. The victim tried to defend herself by holding Lee’s arms to keep from being hit, at which point Lee kicked her in the leg.
  3. The student reported Lee to the guidance counselor soon after. After the victim came forward, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office got involved. They discovered that the disagreement started on the Duval County school’s page between Lee and the victim.
  4. The victim had questioned Lee’s suitability as “Teacher of the Year.” Lee was being congratulated for being the “Teacher of the Year” on the Instagram page, but the victim questioned if Lee was the same teacher who used the “n-word” last year in class. Lee then came on and said she only used the word when talking about the book Of Mice and Men. The student said it wasn’t right and Lee seemingly agreed, but Lee claims she interpreted their exchange as a threat to kill her.
  5. Lee has now lost her job regardless of what the court decides. Darnell-Cookman’s principal told families that Lee had been arrested and that she was immediately removed from the classroom and will not come back regardless of whether she’s found guilty in court. “I have no tolerance for adults who harm children, especially adults in a position of trust,” said the superintendent of Duval County Public Schools.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill