Report shows St. Johns County bus aide charged with lewd conduct had history of misconduct

ST. JOHNS, Fla. — A St. Johns County school bus aide now behind bars, accused of inappropriately touching a teen with disabilities, has had complaints of inappropriate conduct before.

According to Dean Heaton’s personnel files, there were at least three other incidents of alleged misconduct while he worked for the district.

The 67-year-old started with St. Johns County Schools as a bus driver in 2013. In March of 2017, an employee accused Heaton of inappropriately hugging and kissing her in front of students. After an investigation, he was told to avoid contact with the employee.


In May 2018, Heaton was suspended with pay after parents and students complained that he was verbally flirting and touching female students. He was told by the district to improve his professional conduct as a result.

In December 2019, Heaton was accused of bullying, intimidating, and demeaning a disabled student. According to a memorandum, surveillance video on his bus showed children crying presumably out of fear. He told the district that the students were acting “out of control” and stopped the bus on its route for ten minutes and alerted law enforcement. He was given additional training after.

He resigned from his position as a bus driver and became an aid in April last year. Last week he was arrested after investigators said 21 security video clips from his bus showed him interacting with and touching a 15-year-old disabled student inappropriately.

Superintendent Tim Forson hand-delivered a termination letter to Heaton in jail where he is currently being held on a $520,000 bond.

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