Starkville High School teacher Jason Lernard Young, 29, was suspended with pay after he was arrested Oct. 21, Starkville School District Public Information Officer Nicole Thomas confirmed Friday.
Young was arrested by Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department and charged with his second DUI, assaulting an officer, fleeing a law enforcement officer, malicious mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The second and third of those charges are classified as felonies.
He was booked at 12:50 a.m. Sunday and released on bond at 8:29 p.m. on a $12,403 for all charges.
After Starkville Daily News ran a county arrest report Wednesday, district employees were alerted that one of the individuals included might be an SHS employee. Thomas confirmed that Thursday.
When asked Thursday, Oktibbeha County Chief Deputy Chadd Garnett would not comment on Young’s registered blood alcohol content at the time of his arrest, nor would he discuss the specifics of the other charges.
Miss. Code 37-9-59 states that for immoral conduct, the superintendent of a school district has the authority to dismiss or suspend any certified any certificated employee.
“In the event a certificated employee is arrested, indicted or otherwise charged with a felony by a recognized law enforcement official, the continued presence of the certificated employee on school premises shall be deemed to constitute a disruption of normal school operations,” the code states.
Starkville Daily News spoke with SSD Lewis Holloway before the suspension was announced, but a phone call to him afterward went unreturned.
On Thursday, he said per school policy, Young will have the right to due process. The issue of utmost importance to SSD, he said, is that its employees set a respectable example of daily conduct for pupils to model themselves after.
“Any arrest report of an employee, we take very seriously,” he said. “It is important for us that our teachers are good role models for students. It’s a high standard, but teachers absolutely have to be good role models.”