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Former Hernando teacher who called student can't teach in Florida for 5 years

BROOKSVILLE — A former Central High School culinary arts teacher and girls soccer coach who lost his job after drunk dialing one of his players last year won't be able to teach in Florida for the next half decade.

The state Education Practices Commission, meeting in Tampa, voted Thursday to revoke Jason Gray's teaching certificate for a period of five years.

Gray, 38, claimed that he blacked out that April night after drinking with friends and called the girl by mistake when he tried to call his mother to pick him up, according to a school district investigation report released two months later.

The student told officials that Gray realized who she was but still tried to pressure her to give him a ride home. After the call, Gray sent three text messages apologizing to the student.

District officials concluded that Gray violated the teacher ethics code, and superintendent Bryan Blavatt informed him in a letter of reprimand in May 2010 that his annual contract would not be renewed.

Then-Education Commissioner Eric Smith determined there was probable cause to take action against Gray's certificate for several violations, including gross immorality or moral turpitude and intentionally exposing a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement.

Gray, who joined the district in 2009, told the Times last year that he wouldn't fight for his job. He couldn't be reached for comment.

Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431 or tmarrero@sptimes.com.

Former Hernando teacher who called student can't teach in Florida for 5 years 09/23/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 23, 2011 7:59pm]
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