In accordance with standard procedure, Dionne Marie Younce, a 28-year-old physical education teacher, was suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal school district investigation.
“They should set more standards for something like that, for children that are minors, there should be higher standards,” Mary Norse, the parent of a Neese High School student told reporters on a televised interview this evening. Parents said teachers need to remember that their job is teaching students, not socializing.
At this time, a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office spokesman says the agency is not involved in the investigation. Depending on findings made during the internal review that could change. The school district said inappropriate communication can include texting.
Associate Superintendent for Human Resources, Catherine Hutchins, informed Younce of the action in a hand delivered letter Wednesday. Copies of the suspension were delivered to Joseph G. Joyner, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools; Kyle Dresback, Principal; Cathy Geiger, Director for Instructional Personnel; and Stacey Brown, Personnel Specialist.
The suspension notice reads:
As directed by Dr. Joseph Joyner, Superintendent of Schools, this letter is to notify you that you are being suspended with pay beginning, January 20, 2016, due to alleged misconduct in office. An investigation will be completed by the Human Resources Department.
During this suspension you are not to be on any property of the St. Johns County School District unless directed to do so by the Human Resources Department or the school administration. You are not to discuss this suspension with any co-worker, parents or students.
As you are suspended with pay, you are expected to be available to the Human Resources Department during their operating hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. During this timeframe, you may be required to attend meetings at the district office or speak on the telephone to a designee.