Flagler County middle school teacher arrested after physically removing student from classroom, deputies say

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a middle school teacher physically removed a student from his classroom.

Deputies said Jeffrey Paffumi, a teacher at Buddy Taylor Middle School, physically removed a 14-year-old student from his chair, carried him out into the hallway, and pushed the student during first period.

The student told investigators he was playing music on his computer, and when Paffumi muted it, the student kept turning it back on and called the teacher a “cracker," according to a charging affidavit.

The student reported the incident to his parents on Tuesday night and his parents alerted school administrators Wednesday morning, deputies said.

A video shows Paffumi grabbing the student with his right arm and lifting him out of the chair. Paffumi then hooks the student’s left arm with his left arm, lifts the student off his feet and carries him across the classroom. Paffumi pushes the student through the doorway and then shoves him down the hallway.

“As a teacher, you have to control your temper even when students test you,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is an unfortunate incident involving a teacher and a student. My daughter is a schoolteacher and I know from her how misbehaved some students can be. But as a teacher you must deal with it appropriately. Corporal punishment like the old days is not allowed today.”

Flagler County Schools Superintendent James Tager released a statement regarding the incident:

“The actions of this teacher are not consistent with how we expect our educators to act and behave and it will not be tolerated. We immediately removed Mr. Paffumi from the classroom following the incident and placed him on leave pending an investigation. I have stressed to my executive team the importance of handling this investigation with the utmost seriousness it deserves. I also understand a video shows only a portion of a particular incident, so this investigation will encompass the incident in totality and not just what was captured on a camera.”

Paffumi was arrested and charged with battery. Paffumi was booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, where he is being held on no bail.

The Sheriff’s Office has investigated previous incidents involving Paffumi. He was arrested in 2012 for criminal mischief and charged with battery after a physical disturbance, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Paffumi has been employed with Flagler Schools since August 2005, according to an officials with Flagler Schools.

He has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.

The school district said teachers are only allowed to have physical contact with a student if they think the student is going to harm themselves or others.