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Coleman Middle principal and Plant High assistant teacher resign following child abuse arrest

Published Nov. 15, 2017

TAMPA — A South Tampa principal and assistant teacher both resigned Wednesday following their arrests on child abuse charges earlier this week.

Coleman Middle School principal Michael Lynn Hoskinson, 53, and his wife, Kimberly Hoskinson, 49, an assistant teacher at Plant High School, were arrested late Monday after police said a teen relative was punched in the ribs and threatened in a text message.

The next day the couple resigned from their positions, effective immediately according to the Hillsborough County School District.

Both are under a court order prohibiting contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18.

Mike Hoskinson was released from county jail Tuesday afternoon on $7,500 bond and his wife was released shortly after on a $2,000 bond.

Neither could be reached for comment.

Assistant Principal Nannette Harvey will be the acting principal at Coleman Middle School while district officials look for a replacement, Area 1 Superintendent Lisa Yost told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday.

"I have great respect for Mike Hoskinson as an educator," Yost said Wednesday. "I was completely shocked by these allegations and the arrests, and I think that's how the families and faculty and staff at Coleman feel too. We very much feel it's a major loss, and the school is grieving at this point, I think."

With the middle school's other assistant principal out on maternity leave, Yost has also enlisted the school district's mentor for new principals, Laura Zavatkay, to work at Coleman alongside Harvey. The district's grief counselors will also have a strong presence at Coleman Middle to help students and staff with the transition, she said.

The process of finding a new principal for the school of 930 students at 1724 S Manhattan Ave. will begin immediately after Thanksgiving break and will put a heavy emphasis on feedback from students, faculty and staff, Yost said.

It will be up to Superintendent Jeff Eakins to appoint a replacement principal, subject to school board approval, Yost said. But life at Coleman Middle will continue on as planned, Yost said. The school will still host its "Coleman Block Party" on Thursday.

"We're going to keep things as normal as possible, that's a big part of the healing process for that community," Yost said.

Kimberly Hoskinson worked at Plant High during the 2013-2014 school year and returned to a full time position in July 2016. She oversaw the school's credit recovery computer lab, tracking students' progress as they made up missing classwork online, according to the school district.

Michael Hoskinson joined the district in 1987 and became principal of Coleman in 2006. His salary was $108,935.

Shortly after midnight on Nov. 2, he punched the victim twice using his fist, a detective wrote. In addition to bruising, the impact caused the victim to fall and injure a wrist, the report stated. Kimberly Hoskinson pushed the child and both adults yelled at the child during the confrontation, the detective wrote in her arrest report.

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"The injuries were observed by two other classmates," the report states.

A week later, on Friday, Kimberly Hoskinson sent the child a text message that said: "Friendly Reminder: If we ever find a text similar to the one you sent Coach (last name redacted from arrest report) a few months ago about 'needing to talk,' or to whoever else, you'll end up with a lot more than a few bruised ribs," the arrest report said.

The Hoskinsons were each charged with one count of child abuse without great bodily harm, a third-degree felony. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has opened a child protection investigation into the couple, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Families said Tuesday.

Neither Hoskinson had been arrested before in Florida, and their personnel files with the school district show they have never been the subject of any disciplinary action.

Contact Anastasia Dawson at adawson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

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