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Teacher with 20 years' worth of investigations terminated

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Updated: 1/08 11:48 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval County School Board terminated Sheffield Elementary School teacher Beverly Howard's contract after an investigation into claims she hit a student with a book.
Action News obtained documents that revealed a history of investigations related to her behavior dating back to 1992. Action News reporter Romney Smith went to Howard's home for a comment and the man who answered the door said, "She has nothing to say."

Howard's lawyer, David Hertz, had plenty to say on her disciplinary history at the hearing to decide her classroom fate.

"Opposing council was very careful to say 'investigated.' That's because there weren't any findings of guilt," said Hertz.

After looking at investigation results, Duval Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said the board considered several questions.

"Is this a situation where you've seen multiple incidents? Is it progressive discipline? Is this a teacher that should be in front of your individual child?" asked Vitti.

Vitti said any allegation of abuse by a teacher will be thoroughly investigated and not tolerated under his watch.

"I would say that we have ratcheted up the accountability at the teacher level and across our county because I think taxpayers and our community deserve that," said Vitti.

Action News contacted the Professional Standards Office, but it wasn't available to explain how so many of Howard's investigations were found inconclusive.

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