Leon County elementary teacher was arrested before, but returned to classroom

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By: Edan Schultz | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 12, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The second grade teacher at Chaires Elementary School arrested on drug charges last week was also suspended six years ago after an arrest, but his teaching certificate was not revoked and he was allowed to return to the classroom.

Court records show Harry Coombs was arrested on February 4, 2014, after he went to his ex-wife’s home, barged in on her and her boyfriend, punched the boyfriend and refused to leave. Coombs pleaded no contest to misdemeanor trespassing, battery and resisting arrest charges. He was sentenced to three years of probation and community service.

“The district was aware of Mr. Coombs' incident in 2014 which resulted in misdemeanor dispositions,” Leon County Schools spokesman Chris Petley said in a statement.

Petley says after the 2014 arrest, Coombs was placed on administrative leave without pay during an internal investigation, and the district notified the Department of Education Professional Practices for review.

“The Department of Education did not take action on his teaching certificate and over a period of time, Mr. Coombs began teaching again,” Petley said.

Tallahassee police arrested Coombs this past Friday on drug possession charges. According to the arrest report, an officer pulled over his pickup along Apalachee Parkway because its tag light was out.

Police say a search of the truck found two baggies containing methamphetamine. The arrest report says Coombs admitted occasionally using meth and said he had used it earlier in the day. However, he claimed the drugs in the truck were not his.

The Leon County School district says it has placed Coombs on administrative leave, pending an investigation and the disposition of the case.

Coombs is free on a $2,500 bond.

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