According to WESH 2 News, a high school teacher and coach was arrested in February 2023 following allegations of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student at Atlantic High School located at 1250 Reed Canal Rd, Port Orange, FL 32129.
The arrest came after Port Orange police received a report on Friday, prompting a swift investigation over the weekend. The accused teacher, identified as Arin Hankerd, was taken into custody after authorities executed a search warrant at his residence. Hankerd, who has been employed as a gym teacher and football coach at Atlantic High School for the past two years, now faces charges related to the alleged misconduct with a minor.
According to the police, the inappropriate relationship between Hankerd and the student reportedly began in early January and continued until last Friday. The details surrounding the nature of the relationship have not been disclosed, but the authorities are treating it as a serious case.
In addition to his tenure at Atlantic High School, investigators have discovered that Hankerd has also worked at other educational institutions within Volusia County. Previously, he served as a teacher at Mainland High School and held a position as a football coach at Father Lopez Catholic High School. However, it remains unclear whether any similar incidents occurred during his employment at those schools.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard files lawsuits for victims sexually assaulted by teachers in the state of Florida. Michael recently discussed legal options available for victims and their families, addressing when they can sue if sexually assaulted by a high school gym teacher or coach.
"High schools are entrusted with the care and education of our children, and with this trust comes the responsibility to provide a safe and secure environment. Part of this obligation includes implementing policies and procedures that minimize the risk of misconduct by teachers and other staff members. While most educators uphold the highest standards of professionalism, it is unfortunate that a small number abuse their positions of authority, causing profound harm to vulnerable students.
School districts and officials are expected to take reasonable measures to prevent harm and to promptly respond to any reports or suspicions of misconduct. Failure to fulfill this duty may result in legal liability for the school. This may include conducting background checks on all teachers, coaches and staff. Additionally, cameras and security sweeps can help prevent such conduct on the school campus. Any reports of misconduct should be taken seriously with a full investigation following.
When a trusted teacher engages in sexual abuse or misconduct with a student, it is a grave violation of the student's rights and can have severe and long-lasting consequences. Filing a lawsuit can provide a voice for the victim and help them reclaim their power after experiencing such trauma. It enables them to share their story, expose any wrongdoing, and raise awareness of the issue within the school community and beyond. This can foster a safer environment for future students, ensuring that the same tragedy does not recur.
Pursuing a legal claim can also provide victims with compensation for the physical, emotional, and psychological harm they have endured. This compensation can help cover the cost of therapy, medical treatment, and other support services that aid in the healing process. Moreover, it acknowledges the gravity of the offense and validates the survivor's struggle.
In order to ensure justice for victims of teacher misconduct, it is crucial to gain the services of an experienced school sex abuse attorney specializing in such cases. These attorneys possess the necessary expertise to navigate complex legal processes."