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Dec 7, 2023

Second teacher in less than a week arrested for illegal conduct with a child

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit has arrested a second teacher in less than a week for illegal and inappropriate conduct with a child.

The first arrest occurred on November 30th, involving Jerron Dunn, a substitute teacher working at New Beginnings High School (a charter school), who sent texts messages and videos of himself masturbating to two students. Click here to read the news release: (After that news release was sent out, he posted $62,000 bond and was released from jail. Two more victims/students came forward, and Dunn was re-arrested and charged with 2 counts sex offense on a student by an authority figure. He posted $30,000 bond and was released from jail again.)

The most recent arrest, of 21-year-old Rameir Jones, occurred on December 6, 2023.

Rameir JonesJones is a 5th through 8th grade teacher at Preparing the Way Academy in Lakeland, a private school. Detectives went to Jones’ home looking for a 15-year-old Lakeland girl who was missing and endangered, after she cut off her probationary ankle monitor and left her home on December 4th. Jones told detectives he had not seen the victim in four days. The detectives reminded him that harboring her or lying about her whereabouts was a criminal offense, but he stuck to his story. The next morning, detectives located the victim inside his home, and immediately took Jones into custody.

The victim told detectives that she and Jones flirted with each other and sent explicit and lewd text messages to each other. Detectives seized both of their phones and during a preview, located the text messages. A more extensive analysis of the devices will be conducted.

Detectives interviewed Jones, who admitted to sending the lewd texts, and to picking her up from her friend’s house and bringing her to his house. He admitted that he hid her inside his vehicle when detectives first came looking for her at his house. He admitted to instructing her to turn off her phone so that she could not be tracked.

Jones was booked into the Polk County Jail and charged with:

  • Sex offense on a student by an authority figure (F2)
  • Traveling to meet a minor to engage in illegal activity (F2)
  • Unlawful use of a two-way communication device (F3)
  • Interference with child custody (F3)
  • Accessory after the fact (aiding her in avoiding detection by law enforcement) (F3)
  • Giving false information to law enforcement during an investigation (M1)
  • Aiding unmarried minor (M1)
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor (M1)
  • Resisting arrest (M1)

Two teachers preying on students is two too many. I don’t know what either of these suspects were thinking, but rest assured, if you groom, solicit, inappropriately talk to, or touch any student here in Polk County, we will lock you up and do our best to make sure you never have access to children again.”Grady Judd, Sheriff