Blountstown teacher’s aide facing two felony charges

Calhoun County

UPDATE: Calhoun County School Superintendent Darryl Taylor, Jr. sent News 13 this statement Monday night:

Administrative staff, at Blountstown High School, were made aware of an incident involving an employee and possible inappropriate student communications. The allegations were immediately investigated and the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department was involved. The employee has resigned in lieu of termination and has since been arrested in Bay County. Blountstown High School nor the Calhoun County School District support any conduct that is a potential harm to any of its students.

CALHOUN COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — A Blountstown High School teacher’s aide and coach is facing charges of inappropriate behavior with students.

Authorities said she exchanged nude photos with at least one student on a social media platform. School district officials are still keeping quiet about the case.

Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 45-year-old Tessa Marie Garnett on Sunday as per request of the Calhoun County Sherriff’s Office.

Garnett is charged with “offenses against students by an authority figure.”

“What we have found at this time is two counts of what is second-degree felonies,” Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel said. 

Blountstown High School administrators contacted Sheriff Kimbrel on October 5 when they started hearing rumors of inappropriate conduct.

According to this arrest affidavit, Garnett had inappropriate contact with at least four students from Blountstown High School.

The report said students received flirtatious messages from Garnett during school hours. In some instances, students said Garnett told them to meet her after school.

Others allegedly received inappropriate photos via the social media app Snapchat.

“It’s taken this length of time due to the fact that when you recover people’s telephones you have to get subpoenas if they do not agree to analyze the data in the phone,” Kimbrel said.

Once deputies received the evidence they needed, they issued a warrant for Garnett’s arrest. At the time, she was located in Bay County.

“I’m not saying innocence or guilt in this situation but, we all know, you draw the line and you aren’t supposed to do that,” Kimbrel said, referring to the evidence his office found. “In particular, with people you are in charge of.”

Garnett was reportedly suspended from her teacher’s aide position several weeks ago. School district officials have refused our requests for interviews or comments on the case.

Sheriff Kimbrel believes this is an isolated case and that Blountstown High students are not in any danger.

Garnett has already gone for her first appearance in Bay County before she was transported back to Calhoun County.

Her first appearance in Calhoun County is set for Tuesday, November 23 at 9:30 a.m.

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