tampabay.com

Teacher charged with assault

He is accused of threatening his wife with a baseball bat.

By ABBIE VANSICKLE
Published February 20, 2007


TAMPA - He fought hard to get his teacher's certification.

Kevin L. Jefferson's application for a teaching certificate raised red flags to a state board, but he persuaded it he was up to the job.

Now the Cypress Creek Elementary teacher is behind bars, accused of threatening his wife with a baseball bat, deputies say.

Jefferson, who teaches children with emotional disabilities, has been put on paid leave until the investigation is concluded, said Hills-borough school district spokeswoman Linda Cobbe.

Jefferson, 38, was arrested at 2:50 a.m. Monday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Deputies say Jefferson and his wife argued over his chatting with other women online. His wife called 911 when he picked up a baseball bat, said Hillsborough sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.

His wife hung up on dispatchers, afraid he would hit her, she told deputies. Dispatchers returned her call.

She didn't answer because he threatened to hit her if she did, she told deputies.

Dispatchers sent deputies to the couple's home at 1710 Chalksand Way in Ruskin and arrested Jefferson, who said he did not threaten his wife.

He was in jail Monday without bail.

Jefferson was hired as a teacher in 2004. When he applied for his teaching certificate, the state's Education Practices Commission questioned it because he had been arrested three times in Virginia in 1995 and 1997 on drug and assault charges, Cobbe said. All charges were dismissed, she said.

The state allowed him to teach if he followed several conditions, Cobbe said. He paid was required to pay a $250 fine, and he received a letter of reprimand in his personnel file.

Jefferson's license could be revoked if he violated the settlement terms, Cobbe said.