Gibbs High teacher suspended from teaching after marijuana arrest

ST. PETERSBURG — As Gibbs High School administrators are cracking down on discipline this year, a science teacher facing criminal charges has been removed from her classroom.

Julie Giles, 31, was arrested on Aug. 14 after St. Petersburg Police deputies accused her of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. The arrest took place before the school year started, and she has not been allowed back in the classroom until a Pinellas County school district investigation is completed, district spokeswoman Andrea Zahn said.

"I can tell you she's been administratively placed in a district location at a non-student work site," Zahn said. That location is not at or near Gibbs.

Giles has been a teacher at Gibbs since 2004, and has no prior arrests in Florida.

Gibbs principal Kevin Gordon could not be reached for a comment Friday.

Gordon and other administrators announced changes as school opened this week. They are hoping to change Gibbs' culture and image as a struggling institution.

Gibbs is the only high school in the Tampa Bay area to receive an F this year, and according to district data, more students were suspended there last year — 22.6 percent — than at any other high school in Pinellas.

Among some of the new changes: Droopy pants will be pulled up with zip ties and fighting kids will be pepper sprayed.

Emily Nipps can be reached at nipps@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8452.

Gibbs High teacher suspended from teaching after marijuana arrest 08/28/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 28, 2009 7:42pm]

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