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Florida Principal Arrested After Video Shows Him Choking & Whipping Student

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Whew, this is one way to never work in education again! A Florida principal faces child abuse and imprisonment charges for accusations of choking and whipping a student.

According to WESH, 33-year-old Dontay Akeem Prophet worked at Destiny Leadership Academy in Ocala, Florida. The institution serves elementary school-aged children.

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Here’s What The Florida Principal Allegedly Did

On May 11, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested Prophet after reviewing surveillance footage of the principal-student interaction. The footage showed the Florida principal keeping the student locked in a room for 40 minutes.

Additionally, the video shows Dontay grabbing the child, retraining them on the ground, using a chokehold, and whipping the child with a computer charging cable. Police say the principal also twisted the child’s ankle and slapped him.

“Dontay Prophet started touching the child and pushing on him, and it turned into where he started to physically abuse the child,” said Valerie Strong with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

It’s unclear what prompted the Florida principal to become aggressive or why he confronted the child in the first place. WESH reports that the student eventually got away. Aside from the tapes, a teacher allegedly claimed to hear the child screaming.

What Happens Next To Dontay Akeem Prophet?

WESH reports that Destiny Leadership Academy has already fired the Florida principal. The outlet also reports that the school released a statement highlighting its ” commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being” of its students.

It’s unclear if Dontay has acquired representation or decided on his plea. However, he’s sitting in Marion County Jail with each of his two charges carrying a $25,000 bond. His potential punishment for the alleged crimes will become more apparent when local prosecutors determine the classification of his charges and whether the abuse was aggravated. For now, his next court date is on June 11.

His alleged criminal history involving kids could also count against him. FOX 23 Orlando reports that police also arrested the Florida principal in 2019. At the time, he was reportedly accused of sexually molesting a child while employed as a camp counselor in 2017. His official charges were “lewd and lascivious molestation of a child” and attempted interference with “child custody.” The case was closed in July 2023 after prosecutors dropped one charge, and the court gave probation without formally convicting him of any crime.

Destiny Academy has not explained how a man with past accusations of child-related incidents got the role Dontay had.

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