Clay County Schools guardian arrested for cocaine possession

Clay County Sheriff's Office cruiser (WJXT)

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – A Clay County District Schools guardian has been charged and arrested for possession of cocaine.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office said began investigating after receiving received a tip that Douglas Charles Batchelder was using illegal drugs. Deputies searched Batchelder’s vehicle on campus at Middleburg High School after a CCSO K9 sniffed for the presence of illegal drugs. They found a brown wallet that contained a white substance in the driver’s side door of Batchelder’s vehicle. The substance field-tested positive for cocaine.

The Sheriff’s Office said when Batchelder admitted the drugs were his, he was arrested and taken to Clay County Jail.

School guardians were created in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act of 2018. According to FDLE, guardians are armed personnel who aid in the prevention or abatement of active assailant incidents on school premises. Clay County has 19 guardians.

Clay County District Schools provided the following statement,

“Clay County District Schools is disappointed to learn about the arrest of an employee by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. The Clay County District Schools Police Department assisted the Sheriff’s Office with this investigation. The employee, Douglas Charles Batchelder, served as a Guardian since the summer of 2019. Batchelder has since resigned. Clay County District Schools does not tolerate this type of behavior. The District always takes a proactive approach in investigating any allegations of misconduct.”

Guardians are employees of the school where they volunteer to serve or are hired, but their training is completed with the Sheriff’s Office. Guardians must pass psychological and drug screenings, and successfully complete a minimum of 144 hours of training.