New Port Richey teacher arrested, accused of abusing student, officials say

A New Port Richey elementary school teacher was arrested Thursday after he was accused of abusing a student, according to police.

Pasco County Schools spokesperson Steve Hegarty said after school officials learned of the allegation against Richey Elementary School fifth grade teacher Tyler Faulkner, they called New Port Richey police.

According to arrest reports, Faulkner and an 11-year-old student got into an argument over the child’s refusal to leave his backpack in the classroom when going to a physical education class.

Faulkner grabbed the backpack and tugged on it before ultimately forcibly taking it off the student, police say. After the incident, the student had bruises and deep red scrapes on the entire length of his right arm, according to arrest reports.

Police arrested Faulkner around 5:30 pm Thursday. He faces a charge of abuse of a child without great bodily harm, according to arrest reports.

Hegarty said the district hasn’t received any previous complaints about Faulkner.

Faulkner was booked into Pasco County Jail on Thursday, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Amanda Granit confirmed.

Hegarty said Faulkner has been placed on paid administrative leave at the school while the investigation continues.

Richey Elementary School Principal Amy Denney-Haskedakes informed staff of the incident Friday morning. She also sent a phone message out to parents on Friday detailing how the school would cover Faulkner’s class, Hegarty said.

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