Skycrest Elementary teacher appears in court on child abuse - WFLA News Channel 8

Skycrest Elementary teacher appears in court on child abuse charges

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) -

Today in her first appearance in court, a Pinellas county judge kept Melanie Jo Fox's bond at $20,000.

Fox is a special needs teacher at Skycrest Elementary School. On Thursday, Fox was arrested for allegedly hitting and kicking a special needs girl. In a separate alleged incident, Fox is accused of tying the hands of an 8-year-old special need boy with a rubber band.

In court, a family friend of Fox, Catherine Baggett, spoke to the judge to defend her.

Baggett said, "She's a good person, a good advocate for special needs students."

Baggett has a child who was taught by Fox, and through tears she told the judge how much Fox has meant to her daughter's life.

Fox made a statement herself to the judge, saying: "I've never been in trouble. These are strictly allegations."

In addition to the $20,000 bond, the judge restricted Fox from having contact with minors.

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