Police: Eustis substitute teacher charged with child abuse for allowing student to use her vape pen

EUSTIS, Fla. — A substitute teacher at Eustis Middle School was arrested Friday, accused of allowing a seventh grade student to take a hit from her vape pen just because they asked.


Principal Michael Spencer contacted police on Wednesday afternoon to report the incident.

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Spencer told the responding Eustis police officer that a substitute teacher at the school, identified as 50-year-old Jennifer Hale, gave a student a vape pen to “take a hit” the previous day because they said they wanted to try it.

Hale, who happened to be subbing for a class that day, was called to Spencer’s office to talk about the incident.

According to her arrest report, Hale admitted to Spencer that she had a vape pen on her and allowed the student to take a hit from it.

The report says Hale told Spencer she did it because she was “just trying to fit in.”

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Spencer reported the incident to the Lake County School Board Human Resources Department and escorted Hale off the campus, telling her she was not allowed to return.

In an interview with police, the student involved repeated the story, saying he and a classmate were talking about wanting to hit a vape when Hale “chimed in” that she had one.

The student said he walked up to Hale’s desk and she pulled out the vape, asking him if he wanted a hit.

According to Hale’s arrest report, the student said she warned him not to report it to anyone because she didn’t want to get in trouble.

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On Friday, police took Hale into custody at her Mt. Dora home where they also took her vape pen for evidence.

She was booked into the Lake County jail on a single charge of child abuse, a third-degree felony. She’s since been released on $1,000 bond.

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