Teacher punished for 15 years of violent threats

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An order filed this week with the state's Education Practices Commission revoked the teaching certificate a veteran teacher in the Duval County School System accused who is accused of making very violent threats against her coworkers.

Doreen Whitfield, a special education and drama teacher, is accused of making threats on colleagues' lives -- and even the lives of their children -- for the past 15 years.

According to this order by the state division of administrative hearings, the first complaint dates to 1999. While attempting to settle dispute at the school payroll office, the report says she told a companion, "All they need is one fatality up in here and everything would be OK" and, if I "have to come back I'm going to take someone with me." Security was called and Whitfield was told not to return to the payroll office.

In 2004, when she learned her contract at Grand Park Middle and High School would not be renewed, she allegedly told coworkers she hated the principal and could "take a knife and cut his heart out."

Something similar happened in May 2011, according to the order, when the principal of Winter Park High School planned to eliminate Whitfield's position. "Maybe something needs to happen to the principal's children," the order says Whitfield said. "I am so angry … I could take a gun and blow her brains out."

According to the report, the principal was so afraid she asked her husband to check on her children at their daycare and asked a school resource officer to escort her in and out of the building. (Calls for comment were not returned.)

Despite the years of complaints, Whitfield remained a teacher in the school system, at Lake Shore Middle, Mandarin High, Bayview Elementary and most recently West View K-8.

Calls to Whitfield were not returned, but she appealed an administrative law judge's decision in January that her teaching certificate be permanently revoked. And she won. Whitfield's license to teach will be revoked for five years, at which point she could be eligible to get re-certified and return to the classroom again.

We reached out to the Duval County School Board to ask why a teacher with 15 years of concerns wasn't disciplined earlier. They were unable to respond by our deadline, but we will post any response we do receive here.


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