Teacher Abuse

By: Amy Morris
By: Amy Morris

A local mother is struggling to understand how a teacher accused of physically abusing her son wound-up back in the classroom. A look into the former teacher's personnel file shows years of problems in his classrooms and more than one suspension.

Three years ago Marcus Stallworth was a regular 3rd grader, playing peewee football and learning cursive. Now, his mother, Twanna Johnson, says he's had to give up football after a tussle with his former teacher.

"Mr. Howard took my son with his desk and threw him out of the classroom," says Twanna.

In fact, Bay district school records show Doug Howard was abusive and used physical force on a 3rd grade student. It was necessary for the child to seek medical attention. Howard was transferred several times in the months after the 2001 incident.

When his teaching certificate was suspended for six months, he retired, but last year Howard turned up in a Bay County classroom again. This time as a part-time paraprofessional helping students study for the FCAT.

"Does a man have to kill a child before they keep away from our kids? I mean God forbid."

School officials didn't know Howard was back in a Bay County classroom, until we contacted them for this story.

James McCalister says he's removing Howard from the sub list immediately.

"He I'm sure will think it's unfair, but it's for safety."

Superintendent McCalister actually initiated termination proceedings against Howard back in 2001, but he resigned before the process was complete. Until Friday, Howard was listed as a master substitute, meaning he has a Florida teaching certificate.


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