Booker High teacher placed on leave during investigation into battery

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SARASOTA, FL. - A Booker High School teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into battery.

The Sarasota Police Department is looking into a claim a student made against Doug O'Connell, who teaches science at the school.

Officers say it's a simple battery case, which is a misdemeanor.

According to Booker High's Principal, she received a complaint about O'Connell on April 12th and she reported it to authorities the same day as a precaution.

The 43-year-old was placed on leave three days later. He is now working in the human resources office at the Sarasota County School District's headquarters.

School district officials say O'Connell is accused of inappropriate conduct with a student.

A former student of O'Connell's says she can't believe he's done anything wrong. “That's not Mr. O'Connell. That's not something Mr. O’Connell would do. It's kind of crazy,” says Krystal Davis.

The investigation is ongoing and details in this case have not been released yet.

The state's Office of Professional Practices, which can revoke a teacher's license, is investigating as well.

O'Connell has worked for the district since August 2001.