Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
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Clearwater teacher accused of abusing special-needs students

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CLEARWATER -

A teacher abused two special-needs students a 6-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy for months and faces two counts of child abuse, according to police.

Melanie Jo Fox, 44, of Clearwater, is an Exceptional Student Education teacher at Skycrest Elementary School. She was arrested today.

The abuse happened between January and last week, according to the Clearwater Police Department. During that time, Fox kicked the girl and pulled her hair, hit her with a book and bound her hands with tape, police said. She’s also accused of pushing the boy down and binding his hands with a rubber band.

This week, the school district moved Fox to a nonstudent site after an investigation, which is still under way, according to a statement from Pinellas County Schools. The criminal investigation into Fox’s actions is also ongoing, according to police.

She began working for the school district as an hourly teacher in 2004 and was hired as a full-time teacher in 2005, according to the statement. She has no prior disciplinary actions on her record, school officials said.

Fox, of 2225 Nursery Road, is being held at the Pinellas County Jail, with bail set at $20,000, according to jail records.

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