Florida substitute teacher arrested for letting 7th grader vape as she ‘wanted to fit in’
LAKE COUNTY, FLORIDA: A Florida substitute teacher has been arrested after she was accused of letting a seventh-grader take a hit off her vape pen, according to the Eustis Police Department. Jennifer Hale, 50, allegedly allowed the student to vape because she “wanted to fit in.”
She had been working at Eustis Middle School as a substitute teacher since November 2022. On May 2, Hale overheard a student discussing how his pal wanted to try vaping. The teacher then offered him her vape pen to take a hit. A student reportedly said that Hale who overheard the boy talking about his friend wanting to vape told the seventh-grader, “I have one” and then pulled it out. The boy then said that the teacher told the class to not report the incident and asked the boy if he also wanted a hit, as per the police report, according to New York Post.
‘You’re there to teach a class, not to fit in’
Following the incident, the school administrators told Hale to never return after she was escorted off campus. The substitute teacher was then arrested on Friday, May 5, and was taken into custody at home in Mt Dora. Investigators also took Hale’s vape pen as evidence. She shared her bizarre reason behind giving the student her vape pen after she read her Miranda rights.
Talking to WESH, Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri said, “We contacted her she immediately post-Miranda confessed to doing it. Her response was she just wanted to fit in. I don’t get it. What is there to fit in? You’re there to teach a class, not to fit in.”
What are the charges against Hale?
Hale faces a third-degree felony charge of child abuse. She has been released on a $1,000 bond from the Lake County Jail. “She has a responsibility to that classroom to protect kids. Not abuse them,” Capri said.
Some of the parents of the children studying at the school said they could not believe someone in a position of authority would be a poor influence on the students. “Teachers. It’s scary now. I never thought a substitute teacher would give my child that or someone else’s child any of that stuff. Just other students,” said a parent named Jennifer Hunter whose son is in eighth grade. “They don’t need to fit in with the kids at all. They need to be more parent-like than fitting in with the kids,” she added.