By: Brittany Kershaw
Public Affairs Manager, Flagler County Sheriff's Office
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office investigated an incident on Wednesday, Jan. 8, involving a teacher at Buddy Taylor Middle School and a student. It was reported that the teacher, 47-year-old Jeffrey Paffumi, physically removed the 14-year-old student from his chair and carried him out into the hallway on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and pushed the student. The student reported the incident to his parents on Tuesday night and the parents alerted school administrators on Wednesday morning.
The incident was captured on video by another student. The video shows Paffumi grabbing the student with his right arm, and lifting him out of the chair. Paffumi then hooks the student’s left arm with his left arm and lifts the student off his feet and carries him across the classroom. Paffumi pushes the student through the doorway and then shoves him down the hall.
“As a teacher you have to control your temper even when students test you,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is an unfortunate incident involving a teacher and a student. My daughter is a school teacher and I know from her how misbehaved some students can be but as a teacher you must deal with it appropriately. Corporal punishment like the old days is not allowed today.”
Upon learning of the allegations,Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager said: “The actions of this teacher are not consistent with how we expect our educators to act and behave and it will not be tolerated. We immediately removed Mr. Paffumi from the classroom following the incident and placed him on leave pending an investigation. I have stressed to my executive team the importance of handling this investigation with the utmost seriousness it deserves. I also understand a video shows only a portion of a particular incident, so this investigation will encompass the incident in totality and not just what was captured on a camera.”
Paffumi was arrested and charged with battery. He was booked into the Flagler County Jail, where he will be held with no bond.
The FCSO has investigated previous incidents involving Paffumi. He was arrested in 2012 for criminal mischief. Also in 2012 he was charged with battery for a physical disturbance.