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Former Douglas Anderson students, teachers call for external investigation after teacher arrest

Former teachers and students shared their claims of abuse by former Douglas Anderson teacher Jeffrey Clayton at Tuesday's Duval County Public School meeting.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Several Douglas Anderson students and teachers shared their claims of abuse by former teacher Jeffrey Clayton at Tuesday's Duval County Public Schools meeting.

"This is much larger than just Clayton, this is years, decades of bad behavior that's been rewarded with silence and kept under the rug," former student, Shyla Jenkins, said.

Clayton was arrested almost three weeks ago for inappropriate conduct. 

Jenkins presented the school board with seven letters she says were written by former students. 

The letters include claims of abuse by Clayton and other teachers at Douglas Anderson. 

"[During] my tenure at the school I reported him many times for toxic environment," former Douglas Anderson teacher, Dina Barrone, said. 

"For 20 years of grievances accusations against a man from first-hand experience I know this man has been a terrible person to his students," current Douglas Anderson student, Ben Ebner-Winkler, said. 

Jenkins and several others say claims of abuse were brought to the school board's attention in the past and nothing was done. 

They want an external investigation into the situation at Douglas Anderson. 

School board member Lori Hershey said she has family members who have and currently attended Douglas Anderson. 

"I'm asking tonight that the district conduct an internal investigation to explore how this incident happened how it was allowed to continue and who is responsible," Hershey said. 

School board member Darryl Willie echoed Hershey's statement. 

"Now that we've heard even more, we're complicit if we don't and I want the folks who spoke and all of the community to hear that and we're going to be doing something about it action will be taken," Willie said. 

Duval County Public Schools says it is investigating Clayton and two other teachers it removed from Douglas Anderson. 

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