Ocala teacher’s sexual misconduct with students goes back years, police say

West Port High School teacher was arrested Wednesday

Bernard Smith. (Ocala Police Dept.)

OCALA, Fla. – A high school teacher was arrested by Ocala police Wednesday, accused of sexual misconduct with several students.

Bernard Smith, 47, is a criminal justice teacher and former law enforcement officer at West Port High School in Marion County, police said.

Last month a school resource officer said he was told by several students that Smith was inappropriately interacting with them, including inappropriate touching, making inappropriate comments about a student turning 18, calling a student “baby” and “baby girl” even though he was asked not to, smacking a student on the rear with a piece of paper, sending a friend request to a student’s social media account and other conduct.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]

Ocala police arrested Smith on Wednesday after an investigation. He is currently suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation at the school, the Marion County Public Schools district said.

The district provided News 6 with the following statement:

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.