Monday, February 19, 2018
Education

Hillsborough teacher and aide, involved in separate domestic disputes, could lose jobs

TAMPA — A dance teacher at Orange Grove Middle Magnet School and an exceptional student education attendant at Middleton High School could lose their jobs because of domestic problems that led to arrests.

The Middleton attendant, 24-year-old Ashley Ervin of Plant City, is accused of pulling her cousin's hair while she was driving and the cousin was halfway out of the vehicle.

The incident happened in Riverview at 8 p.m. on June 29, according to a Hillsborough County sheriff's arrest report. Ervin and her cousin got into an argument, the report said. It escalated when Ervin grabbed her cousin's hair and drove.

"The victim's upper torso was inside the moving vehicle while her legs were dragged for approximately 50 feet," the report said.

Ervin, who has worked for the district since 2007, said the incident did not happen exactly that way and that the sheriff's report was based on witness accounts. She did not elaborate. She said she will wait until the case goes through the legal system before she decides what to do about her school job. She was charged with aggravated battery.

A case also is pending against Carla Jimenez, an Orange Grove dance teacher. Tampa police said Jimenez, 31, got into an argument outside a supermarket on June 8 with her son's father as he tried to leave with their 8-year-old son. In the course of the argument, police said, Jimenez reached into the car and hit the father four or five times.

Jimenez said the two have been battling for custody and the father did not want her to take the child to his birthday party, along with her family and new boyfriend.

She was charged with burglary of an occupied conveyance, a felony, and domestic battery, a misdemeanor. She pleaded not guilty.

"I've been a teacher for seven years," she said. "I love my job. It's my life. This summer was not a summer vacation. It's very stressful."

In both cases, the district is recommending suspension without pay to the School Board, which will vote on Tuesday. If the cases proceed toward termination, the employees can asked for closed or open hearings.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or [email protected]

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