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Land O'Lakes teacher faces felony child abuse charge

Published Dec. 18, 2017

EDITOR'S NOTE: Records in this case have been expunged and no charges were pursued.

LAND O'LAKES — A special needs teacher at Oakstead Elementary School was arrested on a felony charge of child abuse, accused of striking and kicking a 15-year-old in her care over the weekend, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

The event was not connected to her work at the elementary school, according to the Pasco County School District.

Deputies said the incident took place Sunday at about 7:22 p.m. Ketelsen got into a verbal argument with a 15-year-old in her care and kicked the child twice on each leg. The child was not identified by the Sheriff's Office.

Ketelsen was placed on administrative leave with pay. The Pasco County School Board meets Tuesday and could vote on whether to approve the district superintendent's recommendation that Ketelsen be suspended without pay.

She has worked at Oakstead Elementary since 2014 and has no previous disciplinary record, the district said. Ketelsen was being held Monday in the Land O'Lakes Detention Center in lieu of $5,000 bail.