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A 50-year-old teacher has been arrested for letting a student try out her vape pen at a middle school. kampfmonchichi/Pixabay


  • The teacher offered her vape pen after hearing the seventh grader talking with a friend about wanting to vape
  • The teacher claimed she let the student try out her vape pen because she "just wanted to fit in"
  • The Lake County School District said the woman was no longer employed with the district

A 50-year-old woman has been arrested after letting a seventh-grade student try out her vape pen while she was working as a substitute teacher at a middle school in Lake County, Florida.

The substitute teacher, identified as Jennifer Hale, was charged with child abuse, a third-degree felony, after the incident last week at Eustis Middle School in Eustis, Florida, WESH reported.

She was booked into custody Friday by the Eustis Police Department. She was released two days later after posting a $1,000 bail, according to Lake County jail records.

The 50-year-old is due back in court on May 30. Police also took her vape pen as evidence, WFTV reported.

Authorities said that Hale overheard the unnamed student talking to a friend about wanting to try vaping.

Hale then pulled out her vape pen and allowed the student to take a puff. She allegedly told the students not to tell anyone about the vape share, police said.

Police officials said Hale admitted to law enforcement and the school's principal that she let a student take a hit off her vape pen. She claimed that she did so because she "just wanted to fit in."

"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," Eustis Police Chief Craig Capri said.

"She has a responsibility to that classroom to protect kids. Not abuse them," he added.

The Lake County School District confirmed that Hale was no longer employed with the district., according to WESH. The school district said she started substitute teaching for the district in November 2022 and had no prior disciplinary issues.

The incident became a concern for parents of students at the school, including Jennifer Hunter, the mother of an eighth grader at Eustis Middle School.

"Teachers. It's scary now," Hunter said to WESH. "I never thought that a substitute teacher would give my child that or someone else's child any of that stuff. Just other students."

In related news, a former Delaware middle school teacher was arrested Monday after she allegedly raped a juvenile student multiple times nearly a decade ago.

While she was working as a teacher at Stanton Middle School, the suspect, 42-year-old Reed Messer, allegedly had a sexual relationship with the student that began in October 2014 and lasted for approximately two months.

Messer was extradited back to Delaware Monday after being taken into custody at her home in Greenville, South Carolina, the Delaware State Police reported.

Messer was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child by a person of trust, 10 counts of third-degree rape and 10 counts of fourth-degree rape.

Two middle school teachers have been arrested for different offenses recently. pixabay