Mariana Teacher Accused of having Inappropriate Conduct with Students

By: Press Release from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
By: Press Release from Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

After careful examination of the evidence into the allegations of inappropriate conduct with students, by a teacher at Marianna High School, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has compiled the following investigative summary.

During the evening hours of Thursday, February 14, Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) received a report through the Florida Abuse Hotline. The initial report originated from a staff member at Marianna High School, reporting the alleged inappropriate conduct with students by John Summers, a Marianna High School teacher.

On Friday, February 15, at 8 a.m., DCF investigators were at Marianna High School to conduct an investigation into those allegations. During their investigation students were interviewed by DCF staff. Present during these interviews were school personnel as well as School Resource Officers from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Later that day, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office also received the intake report from DCF detailing the allegations of inappropriate conduct and behavior with students by John Summers at Marianna High School. Upon receiving the intake report, it was assigned to an investigator and a case was opened by the Sheriff’s Office to also investigate the allegations.

Prior to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office conducting their interviews, John Summers was discovered deceased at his residence on Sunday, February 17. The Marianna Police Department conducted the investigation into John Summers death.

During the death investigation at John Summers’ residence, the Marianna Police Department recovered John Summers’ assigned Marianna High School key ring. Using one of the keys from John Summers key ring, a locked cabinet in his classroom at Marianna High School was accessed by school personnel accompanied by school resource officers.

Inside the cabinet a black duffle bag that contained numerous compact discs was discovered. The discs contained voluminous digital images of students that John Summers would have possessed in his role as yearbook editor. Also, commingled amongst the legitimate images, were images of students that focused on the male anatomy. Those images were of an explicit sexual nature which contained images of adult pornography and suspected child pornography.

The images discovered on the discs that were located in John Summers’ classroom are evidence to support the allegations that were presented in the original complaint against John Summers and, if not for Summers’ death, would appear to support felony charges of Possession of Child Pornography.

The evidence located during this investigation supports the claims that John Summers was involved in inappropriate conduct with students and did possess obscene material and what appears to be child pornography inside his classroom at Marianna High School. By bringing this sexually explicit material and child pornography into Marianna High School and into his classroom, John Summers showed questionable responsibility and trust for the welfare of the children placed under his care and supervision.

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