“Teacher of the Year” in Florida was arrested Friday for allegedly striking a minor in the face – causing a nosebleed – after the student posted a message on Instagram questioning the educator’s selection for the top honor.
Caroline Melanie Lee, the 60-year-old teacher at Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, has denied striking the student, The Florida Times-Union reported, citing the arrest report.
The paper described troubling allegations from a student.
The alleged incident occurred after some Instagram commenters questioned Lee being tapped for the honor, the paper reported. One issue that was raised was Lee’s use of the N-word in class, the report said. Lee brushed off the criticism and said she only used the word while reading from John Steinbeck’s 1937 classic “Of Mice and Men.”
The paper, citing a police report, said Lee requested to speak privately to the student— who was not in her classes. It was during the meeting that the student claims Lee struck her multiple times, the report said.