According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, a judge has ruled that former teacher Arin Hankerd poses a threat to the community and ordered him to be held without bond. This decision comes just one day after prosecutors filed a new charge against Hankerd, accusing him of engaging in oral sex with a teenage student while he was employed at Mainland High School located at 1255 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.
The 43-year-old resident of Ormond Beach was already facing charges related to allegations of inappropriate touching involving a 15-year-old student during his time as a teacher at Atlantic High School earlier this year. However, this new charge of unlawful sexual activity with a minor has raised serious concerns among legal authorities and the public.
The recent charge stems from a 2019 incident, where a then-17-year-old female student came forward and accused Hankerd of engaging in unlawful sexual activity with her. Hankerd had been her physical education teacher at Mainland High School at the time. Prosecuting attorney Alan Foxman highlighted the significant difference between the initial case, which involved accusations of fondling, and the latest case, which alleges that Hankerd engaged in oral sex with the student.
During the hearing, Foxman argued, "More to the point, it is also showing a pattern that Mr. Hankerd has used his position of authority to prey on vulnerable victims. Mr. Hankerd is a threat to the community." These grave allegations have undoubtedly raised concerns about the safety and well-being of students under the care of educators.
The motion filed on Tuesday by Terwilleger, the attorney representing the victim, detailed that the woman had come forward on February 20, 2023, to report the sexual offense that had taken place in 2019. It is not clear at this time what prompted her to report the incident after a substantial delay.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard advocates for victims sexually assaulted by school teachers across Florida. As an experienced high school sex abuse attorney, he files lawsuits for abuse victims and their families to help them get the justice they deserve.
"In recent years, the issue of sexual misconduct by teachers has gained significant attention, exposing a profound betrayal of trust and the devastating impact on the lives of students. As an attorney who has worked extensively with victims of such abuse, I am deeply committed to shedding light on the duty of schools to provide protection for their students and advocating for the legal rights of those who have suffered at the hands of trusted educators.
Schools serve as custodians of our children's education and well-being. Alongside their academic responsibilities, schools bear a legal and moral duty to ensure the safety and security of their students while under their care. This includes implementing comprehensive policies, preventive measures, and protocols to minimize the risk of teacher misconduct and protect vulnerable individuals from harm. By conducting thorough background checks, implementing robust policies, training staff on recognizing and reporting abuse, and fostering a culture of trust and transparency, schools can significantly reduce the risk of teacher misconduct and protect their students.
When a trusted high school teacher commits sexual abuse, it represents a catastrophic failure on multiple levels. Victims endure unimaginable trauma, often resulting in long-term psychological and emotional scars. In these cases, the school itself may be held liable for negligence, as it is their responsibility to uphold the highest standards of safety and prevent any form of harm.
The legal rights of students who have suffered sexual abuse by a trusted teacher must not be undermined. Victims deserve justice, accountability, and the opportunity to heal. Pursuing a legal case against the school and the responsible teacher can be a daunting task, but with a knowledgeable attorney, victims can assert their rights and seek compensation for the damages inflicted upon them.
To successfully hold a school accountable for teacher misconduct, several legal theories may come into play. Negligent hiring and supervision, as well as the failure to respond adequately to reports or indications of abuse, can be crucial elements in establishing liability.
It is important to emphasize that every case involving teacher misconduct is unique, and the legal process can be complex. Seeking representation from an experienced school sex abuse attorney is crucial, as they possess the knowledge, resources, and expertise necessary to navigate these intricate cases and fight for the rights of victims."