Teacher requests no contact order against student

OKEECHOBEE — The two teens who were charged with battering a teacher at Okeechobee Youth Development Center, run by True Core, on Sept. 9 appeared in court on Tuesday, Oct. 1, before Okeechobee County Judge Michael Heisey. The teens are accused of cornering their teacher in his office and punching him in the face before he was able to escape. According to the teacher, it is against policy for teachers to strike back when they are attacked.

Although both boys were originally charged as juveniles, on Oct. 1, Judge Heisey dismissed the charges against 15-year-old Jarahmeel King, and he will be charged instead as an adult. Sixteen-year-old Jerek Nico Orrand will remain in juvenile court.

The principal of the school at the Okeechobee Youth Development Center, Audie Ash, and the teacher who was allegedly punched by the teens were in court on Tuesday as well. They were there to request a no contact order between the students and the teacher. Because King is now being charged as an adult, he will not be going back to the facility, but Orrand may return. According to Assistant State Attorney Ashley Albright, the Department of Juvenile Justice can choose to send him to another facility or might send him back to that one. Judge Heisey asked both men how a no contact order would work in that situation because he said it is the obligation of the Department of Juvenile Justice to give him an education. Mr. Ash explained there were three teachers and he could either be put in another class or he could take the class in his room. At that, Judge Heisey granted the order.

Mr. Ash and the teacher said they were satisfied with the judge’s ruling.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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