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St. Cloud teacher accused of slamming high school student arrested, police say

Jason Parks charged with child abuse simple battery

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – A St. Cloud High School teacher was arrested Wednesday after St. Cloud police said video shows he slammed a female student to the ground during an incident earlier in the week in his classroom.

Jason Parks, 44, was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Osceola County Jail. He is charged with child abuse simple battery. Parks later bonded out and is scheduled for a first appearance before a judge Thursday morning, according to jail records.

According to St. Cloud police, the school resource officer learned of an incident between Parks and a student that happened Tuesday.

The school resource officer said he arrived to Parks' classroom to see him holding a teenage girl to the ground.

The girl told the officer Parks "slammed me to the ground." According to the arrest report, a male student pulled the chair out from the girl when she went to sit down. After the bell rang, the girl started to hit the male student, she told the officer.

During the officer's interview with the student, her father arrived and was very upset a teacher put hands on his daughter, according to the report. The father took the student home and said they would be back Wednesday to fill out a statement.

The girl did not need medical attention, according to the report.

Parks version of events was not included in the arrest report.

The school resource officer reviewed video of the incident and said he could "clearly see Parks slam the female to the wall and then slam her to the ground." The video did not show the student fighting back, according to the arrest report.

Several other students confirmed the girl's version of events, according to the report.

Following the officer's initial investigation, it was determined Parks battered a student and he was arrested, police said.

A spokesperson for the Osceola County School District declined to comment on an active police matter, but said Parks has been reassigned out of the school until the investigation is complete.

Principal Nate Fancher responded to the arrest Wednesday in a statement posted to the St. Cloud High School Facebook page.

"As I have maintained open communication with our school community, I feel it is important to inform you of a difficult situation involving our school. The St. Cloud Police Department arrested one of our teachers this morning for simple battery and child abuse, regarding his handling of a student while breaking up a student incident. The teacher will be reassigned out of our school until any and all investigation are finished. Please be assured that the school district and St. Cloud High School take matters of student safety very seriously. Thank you for your continued support ad cooperation as we provide the best education for your child."

That official said Parks has been employed with the district since January 2015 and has worked as a teacher and substitute teacher.

He was working at St. Cloud High School as an environmental science teacher when he was arrested. He has been at the school since November 2018, according to the school district.


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