Teacher suspended for inappropriate relationship with student

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Austin Johns

PALATKA, Fla. - The Putnam County School Board has suspended a Palatka High School English teacher for the rest of the school year without pay after an investigation into him having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student.

According to a Putnam County Sheriff's Office report, the girl told detectives she and 27-year-old Austin Johns began communicating over the Internet after school, then began text messaging each other. She said things intensified, telling investigators the two would meet before and after class.

"Once the room door was locked and the blinds were closed, Johns and her would go into a large closet and begin to kiss each other," the report reads.

In a sworn statement, the girl said "the two had talked about having sex but it had not happened as of yet."

Johns was not arrested, and deputies closed the case, saying, "A criminal charge is not warranted at this time. However, Johns has clearly violated ethical issues involving his employment as a teacher."

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