JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Parents and students are shocked at the arrest of a Duval County Public Schools teacher accused of having sexual relationship with an underage teen.
The principal at Atlantic Coast High School sent home a letter to parents Tuesday informing them that 23-year-old Danielle Reed, a 9th and 10th grade English teacher at the school, had been arrested. She was taken into custody on Friday and charged with two counts of sexual battery on a child over the age of 12 but under 18.
Reed was hired as a teacher at ACHS in 2011 a few months after graduating from University of Florida. Her arrest stunned many of her students and parents.
"I have Ms. Reed every day second period and I go to her classroom everyday, and I never noticed anything particularly wrong with her. She's totally normal. It was shocking to hear that," said student Jordan Hoprich.
According to the police report, officers came to ACHS on Friday and talked to the alleged victim, who disclosed a sexual relationship with Reed from March through June. But many students and parents didn't find out about the allegations until Tuesday.
"I was in class today and the police officer came in and we had a substitute today, but the officer took Ms. Reed's computer and some bags and that's when we knew something was wrong," said Hoprich.
"I was just really surprised and wanted to know how old he was, who the student was, had she had any weird actions in the classroom while my daughter was in there," said parent Nicole Keip.
The police report does not say how the alleged relationship began but spells out one instance when Reed allegedly posed as the mother of the student's "fake" friend so they could spend the night together.
We went to the address listed on the police report for Reed, but no one answered the door.
"You figure kids being in school are in a safe place. It can happen anywhere, honestly. I think parents need to track down their kids ... to make sure they know what they are doing and where they are," said parent Carlos Lopez.
Reed's personnel file does not show she had ever been reprimanded.
According to the letter sent home to parents, JSO's investigation is ongoing. The police report lists a potential victim #2, but all of the information was redacted.
Principal Debra Lynch wrote, "We recognize that our ability to deliver quality instruction is affected when inappropriate behavior occurs. However, we plan to continue providing the same high quality education through a certified substitute teacher, who will be facilitating lessons developed by our 9th and 10th grade Language Arts teachers. I have begun the interview process to ensure placement of a certified teacher as soon as possible."
School Superintendent Dr.Vitti is recommending Reed be suspended without pay pending termination. The School Board is expected to discuss that at its December meeting.
Dr. Vitti released the following statement Tuesday:
"I am deeply troubled by the allegations of sexual misconduct by a teacher. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the alleged victim. This behavior is not representative of the more than 8,000 teachers in our classrooms who are positive role models for our students."
"The district is establishing a position in the Office of Professional Standards that will enhance the district's implementation of employee disciplinary guidelines and procedures, and institute additional training for employees."
First Coast News