Brevard teacher accused of lifting, shoving student who was late to class

Teacher faces battery charge

Kurt Kaufman
Kurt Kaufman

WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – A P.E. teacher from Central Middle School was arrested Wednesday for allegedly grabbing a student and leaving bruises, police say.

West Melbourne Police say Kurt Kaufman, who has worked at the Brevard school district for 28 years, "forcefully grabbed" a 14-year-old male student who was late to class on Wednesday, according to News 6 partner Florida Today. Police say Kaufman left bruises on the student's chest after he reportedly grabbed him, lifted him off the ground and shoved him into the hallway.

Police say the student was trying to enter the boys locker room when the incident occurred. He received medical attention from the school nurse.

Kaufman, 55, of Palm Bay, denied the student's allegation. He was booked into the Brevard County Jail on $500 bond. He faces charges of battery.

District officials placed Kaufman on paid administrative leave after learning of his arrest, said district spokesman Matt Reed. The district will conduct its own investigation into Kaufman as well.

According to Kaufman's district personnel file, Kaufman has been reprimanded for his behavior in the past. 

In April 2016, he was suspended for two days for “repetitive negative behavior” toward students after he threw a basketball that struck a student in the face, the file shows.

In 2006, he was reprimanded and fined by the state for not disclosing a previous arrest in his application for certification. The arrest occurred in 2000 in Georgia for simple battery after an "altercation with a male," according to the Florida Department of Education.