Jacksonville elementary school teacher arrested on battery charges, school placed on lockdown

DCF Investigation preceded events

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Second-grade teacher Stephanie Leuluai was arrested at Greenland Pines Elementary on Tuesday after exhibiting "belligerent" behavior toward school administration, according to Duval County Public Schools.

According to an arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Leuluai was being aggressive toward two administrators after being notified that she was being investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Duval County School Board and that she would be reassigned while the investigation continued. One of the administrators told her if she did not leave the school she would be arrested for trespassing after a warning.

At that point, the report said she became more enraged and said she was not being arrested and was not leaving her job. While being detained, she began to push and yell, according to the report.

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Leuluai continued to resist, and in an effort to gain compliance, pepper-spray was used on her, the report said. She was still combative and would not allow herself to be handcuffed, according to the report. A Jacksonville sheriff's officer arrived on the scene and was able to safely handcuff her.

The arrest report also notes the teacher refused treatment from EMTs, demanded to be taken to Baptist Medical Center and she soiled her pants.

During this time, the school was put under a code yellow and students were kept inside classrooms.

School police and JSO were able to control the situation and put Leuluai under arrest.

Leuluai is facing charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and trespassing on school ground after a warning, according to JSO.

The school sent the following note to parents: 

Good Afternoon Greenland Pines Elementary Families,

Maintaining a safe environment for our children is our highest priority, and I’d like to share with you security measures we took today in dealing with a disturbance in the school’s administrative office. 

Specifically, school police were called to the principal’s office to assist with a second grade teacher who was exhibiting belligerent behavior toward administration. 

During this time, we placed the school on a Code Yellow to ensure students remained secure in the classroom. 

School police were able to control the situation, and the teacher was placed under arrest. Charges include battery on a law enforcement officer. 

Thankfully, the incident was confined to the office and students and staff remained safe.

Because of the high standards and expectations we have for our educators, I am very disappointed to share this news. 

But as our school partners, I feel it’s important that you are aware of what took place. 

Also, the teacher’s class will be covered by a substitute while we work toward a long term replacement. My staff and I will stay closely involved with this class to ensure that there is no gap in teaching and learning. 

I also believe it’s important that you know that the safety of our campus is always on our mind, and we will always implement security procedures such as a Code Yellow to keep our students and staff secure.

Thank you as always for your support and partnership. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at the school at 904-260-5450.