Hallandale Principal Charged With Abuse

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A Hallandale Beach high school principal has been charged with aggravated child abuse for allegedly hitting his teenage daughter with an extension cord.

Darren Jones, 42, reportedly admitted to hitting his daughter because he was trying to discipline her. He is accused of using a power cord to hit his 16 year old daughter on her arms, legs, back and hands on January 9th. His daughter has since been removed from the family’s home in Cooper City.

Jones declined to speak with CBS4 Sunday, leaving the explanations to his lawyer.

“This is a family matter, a parenting matter. This is not child abuse. This is nothing more than a situation involving an out of control teenage daughter and a loving caring father who is desperately trying to get his daughter back on the right track,” Jones’ attorney Eric Schwartzreich told CBS4. “There is a difference between child abuse and disciplining an out-of-control teenage girl. This is a case of discipline,” said Schwartzreich.

“It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback and for something tragic to happen and people say where was the father, where was the mother. This is a case of disclipline.

According to report by Child Protective Services Jones’ 16-year old daughter had visible bruising on her arms, legs and back.

Schwartzreich said Jones is cooperating with the police investigation.

“In today’s climate, if he sat back and let his daughter continue to spiral out of control, we could very well have had a tragic situation. Instead we have a pro-active, concerned father who is willing to do whatever he can to help his daughter. This is discipline, nothing more, nothing less,” said Schwartzreich.

Jones, who has been the principal at Hallandale High School for the last two years, bonded out of the county’s main jail on Saturday.

Jones has been temporarily reassigned, according to a spokeswoman at the Broward County District. An interim principal will be named at Hallandale High.

Parents and students were stunned to hear of Jones’ arrest.

“I watched him, he loves and cares about the kids and wants them to do the best they can do,” said parent Robin Henderson.
Henderson credits Jones with turning her daughter’s life around.

“He built strength in me and courage. It’s like I have a second parent, to watch me and keep me on track,” said Della Henderson, a Freshman at Hallandale High.
“He only did what any loving parent would do to help them understand there are consequences to the choices you make,” says Robin Henderson.

Jones was a middle school principal before arriving at Hallandale High. He’s credited with transforming that school, and has won several education awards over the course of his teaching career.

Jones was the second county school principal arrested this week.

On Friday, Coral Park Elementary Principal Amanda Miles was arrested after police reportedly found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in her home. Also taken into custody was her 18-year-old son, Michael Miles.

Broward County schools spokeswoman Nadine Drew said interim acting principals will be in place at both schools when classes resume on Tuesday after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

(© MMX CBS Television Stations. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

  • HHSSenior2011

    @Mike T. Stetak
    Hey, hey, hey. Stop exhibiting your ignorance. It’s not pretty or charismatic at all. Anyway, what he did to her was bad, but I believe it’s just a case of discipline that got a bit out of control. He didn’t mean to injure his daughter; after all, it is HIS daughter, and as a person that knows him well (I’m a senior at Hallandale High,) he’s a great and deeply religious man who after all, improved our school, established a mentality in all of us to achieve a higher standard, and is working on making our little school one of the greatest in the county and beyond. I also do respect him a lot for turning himself in; only few people can really admit to their wrongs, and I doubt cyber bullies like Mr. Stetak here would do the same.

    • VIC

      you can bet had this girl been allowed to continue and got involved with a bad crowd and committed a crime because her parent didn’t care to deal with her then everyone blames the parent

  • tired

    I don’t care if he’s Jesus Christ himself! He hit her with an extension cord, a wepon It dosen’t matter who’s child she ! IT’S ABUSE!!!

    • JustSayin!

      That’s whats wrong with these bad children today! They don’t get disciplined which is all this father was trying to do. You watch the talk shows where you see parents of all races trying to receive help from others to raise their kid. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” Put the right to discipline back into the hands of the parent and you will find less thugs, strippers/prostitutes, pregnant teens, dropouts and under-educated kids in school. There’s a line between abuse and discipline. What this father did was out of love for his out of control daughter. Jesus Christ and his Heavenly father Jehovah experienced greater pain than this child would ever imagine when they sacrificed all for us to gain everlasting life!!!

    • bob

      I use a belt.

      • Tom

        good choice, my dad did also on his 5 kids. not one of us is in jail or a criminal. all of us have families of our own. and our kids no what respect is.

      • astuartgirl


      • Bj

        It is the best choice.

        When my kids start misbehaving, I tell them, “Do I need to take off my belt? You know what happens when I take my belt off? (pause) My pants fall down!”
        and at their current ages, that works…

  • KeepItReal

    What that father did was not abuse! I realize that not everybody is a Christian but I am and I believe that God has the best blueprint for raising kids today of anyone else. HE is the expert. With the way kids try to challenge authority today I don’t blame him. I got whipped many times with items that people today would call wrong, but I have not been in jail one time and I respect authority. If my children call 911 after a whippin, I ‘ll tell 911 to keep them and raise them because there won’t come a day when my children don’t respect and obey their father or me.

  • LadyViney

    I’m all for spanking your own child. SPANKING, not whipping with a whip…same thing as a cord. Trust me, I was an abused child. Rather than, take a whip to his kid, maybe he should have really hurt her and took away the cell phone, ipod, mp3, tv, you know the good stuff….

    • concerned

      Ipods and cell phones have nothing to do with dscipline! We forget the times when these electrical devices were not available and insist that taking these items away constitute a punishment! This is why our children no longer have discipline. I agree that there is a thin line between discipline and abuse but also agree that parents need to take control of their children when they are on the verge of losing control. The discipline this child endured is definately going to make her think twice about doing what she did as opposed to taking her ipod or cell phone which is merely material and can be substitited by walkmans or land lines.

  • The Problem is.....

    Yes, the problem is that children are not disciplined, but… discipline does not equal hitting!!

    Hitting a child is the result of a parent’s anger and inability to “control” the situation. If a parent is completely honest with himself, the only time he hits is when he is so mad at his child. If you take a step back and realize this, there would be less hitting in the world. Hitting with an electrical cord is never okay. I saw it happen to my brother when we were kids and I will never forget it. What’s wrong with kids these days is their parents are self-absorbed and don’t want to deal with their kids or they genuinely don’t know how to raise a child. The person who thinks he hit his daughter with an electrical cord out of love is deranged or delusional or both. Think about it….I’m sure this is not the first time he has hit his daughter for supposed discipline. So, the question is, did hitting give him an obedient daughter??? The person who says,” put the right to discipline back into the hand of the parent and you will find less thugs, strippers/prostitutes, pregnant teens, dropouts and under-educated kids in school.” Who took their rights away? Nobody!! If you look at the homes of the majority of those kids who end up in a less-than-desirable lifestyles you’ll see physical abuse, verbal abuse, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc. You would not see a parent who said, ” I tried but because I couldn’t beat my kid that’s why they ended up like that” If a child feels loved, wanted and valued, they are more likely to adhere to the rules of the house. That is a fact!! I could go on and on but I won’t. I feel very strongly that discipline through love, fairness, mutual respect and consistency will always win out over any sort of physical punishment.

    • Michael Weatherly Jr

      Blah…blah…blah…blah… the ones who end up as degenerates are the undisiplined ones…

      • Cynthia

        Blah…blah..blah…the ones who end up in the hospital because a parent was just using discipline are just as likely to be WHIPPED with an extension cord…there is spanking with the hand, MAYBE, but whipping a child of any age with a thin electrical cord is just asking for major injuries. FOOLS

    • Jen

      Wow. You’re more than a bit naive. You know, they tried this “enlightened parenting” stuff with my older brother. All it did was make him more manipulative. It gave him an opening to blame a lack of attention, lack of hugs, lack of money, lack of privacy, lack of ANYTHING for all of his bad behavior. And do you know what happened? He laughed his head off at the guilt trips my mom went through. It was disgusting to watch. He knew the truth, and so did I. Teenagers breaking the rules doesn’t have a thing to do with some “emotional deficiency”, they’re just arrogant, disrespectful, and brimming with a sense of self-entitlement. Truth is, the guy tried to actually DO something to stop it, rather than make some weak-kneed sniveling excuse about “Oh I don’t know WHAT to do!” Oh and by the way, my brother is grown now, and he’s stopped laughing. Seems the guards in prison aren’t exactly fans of the Dr. Phil method.

  • Michael Weatherly Jr

    She deserved it… That’s the problem with youth of today… dumbed down by the education system, MTV, and sex on TV, movies, and in the songs they listen too… They want everything but will do nothing for it. Give me… give me… give me what I want or I’ll call the cops and say you beat me with an electrical cord. And if that doesn’t work I’ll just say you abused me… I know it’s a lie but I’ll make you pay for telling me no. Our future doesn’t look so bright does it

    • Melissa

      I completely agree with you!!

      • Cynthia

        So, Melissa, Michael: Have either of you been whipped with a narrow, plastic wire by an angry, out-of-control person who is bigger than you? I hope not, because if you have and you STILL support this beating than I feel sorry for anyone who is subject to your anger and discipline. It can easily break the skin and cause significant wounds. Ask any ER worker what those wounds look like and how they can cause long-term problems.

  • Cindy a concerned citizen

    I personally know Mr.Jones as I was a teacher at his school when he was the Principal at McNicol Middle School. Mr. Jones is a horrible man, that bullies adults and children. I witnessed a mass exodus of amazing teachers at McNicol in his two years there. Teachers transferred, quit, and retired early due to his horrible leadership. He has 3-4 women that he continues to bring from school to school and they worship him and do anything for him. He employs these unqualified women taking away from qualified professionals.

    I have personally been bullied by him and I have seen him bully fellow teachers. I have personally seen him choke a student. The teachers at McNicol went to the Union many many times about Mr. Jones, but each time he was pardoned by someone high up in the county.

    Karma is an amazing thing and I can tell you hundreds of teachers that have worked at his schools are smiling on this day, not for the tragedy he has committed, but the fact that he is in the public eye now showing his true colors. Mr. Jones can NOT hide behind this. The county has finally seen his true colors all over the press, and it is up to them to make sure he has no more contact with children.

    • Jen

      Sounds like you’ve got an axe to grind. Let me guess, one of your friends lost a position to those “unqualified women” he brought with him. You wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise. Bet he also had the audacity to criticize you as a teacher. Sure, he “bullied” you. Probably just pointed out you and your pals were doing a lousy job. Sorry, but when students are posting of their own volition in support of the guy, it means HE was actually doing a good job. Where are your unsolicited references?

    • Melissa

      Seriously!? You shouldnt wish bad on anyone! I know him personally myself & he is a great person with a great heart. He’s very religious.

  • Sanford Hall

    Life is tough in this modern world.

  • Melissa

    Jones, was my teacher in the past and I just think he was seriously trying to discipline his daughter. He is an amazing person with a good heart & I really don’t think he was trying to hurt his daughter in anyway! Most teenagers are completely out of control now a days and want to do whatever they want. He should of done things differently, but seriously! no one is perfect & everyone makes mistakes.

  • Tiffany23

    I know mr. jones he was my 6th grade teacher at perry middle where his brother officer jones was also an sro, and he was and still is one of my favorite teachers because he is a very respectable, caring, religious individual im 23 now I sitll keep it touch with mr. jones in the church from time to time and by knowing him for this long its definately not of charater to be abusive to anyone so I believe these charges are bogus

  • Angie

    Are you kidding me? That’s abuse. What is wrong with you people?? You make me sick. There’s other ways of dealing with out of control children. But whipping them, or “hitting” them with an extension cord is sick. And there are actually people defending him?!? What is this world coming to… I was abused as a child, and I am pretty sure, that is not all he did behind closed doors. Since that’s as far as it has already gone. No one in their right mind harms a child in any way. Oh wow, you know him, you do NOT live with him, you do not know what goes on behind closed doors. Stop being ignorant and grow up, you can hold hands with him later.

  • Tiffany23

    Oh please thats not abuse!!! Im sorry but its not like he torchored his daughter and brutally beat the kid sensless I mean lets be realistic im not sure if your a parent but I’m sure if you are you will understand that sometimes as human beings we all have a breaking point and you don’t know what other disciplinary steps were taken before and you obviously dont live with him either so u can’t depict some as this monster who has no reguard to his childrens well being this what took place is just an unfortunate situation that is majorly being blown out of porportion again mr. jones has been around for quite some time and he loves children dearly and does try to lead by a positive example to his you check his record if u have any doubts…. so please try not to throw the word ignorant out before you’ve fully done your research you who are you to judge

  • Lt

    Dont get me wrong I am not a supporter of abuse at all I definatly think was out of his character which this is now being exposed to the public as this guy who beats on children I think before we judge we need to find out what really happend because im quite sure he never intended to harm his daughter like that which is probly why he felt enough guilt to TURN HIMSELF IN to the authorities there was no top secret investigation or no nieghbor or schoolboard member who reported this he obviously acknowleges that he made a huge mistake No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes and there are far more worse cases of abuse than a disobedient defiant teen hit with a cord, him being a father only trying to prtect his daughter it wasnt to the point where she needed medical attention so in my eyes its would have been better this way than beat up by the cops in the future beacuse im sure if that was the case it wouldnt be so big of an issue.

  • Joni

    Pray, Pray, Pray!!!!!

  • teremist

    There is no excuse for using a weapon and violence on a child. You have the right to reasonably, and temporarily, restrain a child who is in danger of harming themselves or others. That restraint must cease, as soon as the child calms down. As an educator, this “man” knows what the law allows. Parenting a teen, can be the most challenging thing we ever do, but WE MUST REMAIN IN CONTROL of OURSELVES, and our responses to them. Sometimes that means we walk away and calm ourselves down, before re-engaging. Shame on Mr. Jones!

  • Lisa

    For all you idiots who think it’s about…you are idiots. This is why your children have no manners, rude, and out of control. I give this father two thumbs up…it is nothing close to what I got growing up, and it wasn’t just from parents, but teachers as well. You would get beat at school, and then come home and get a second course beating. I laugh now because you look back and see why it was done…and I wish when I have kids someone tell me I can’t beat them…I might turn around and beat those people as well for being in MY family business.

  • IronMom

    I feel this mans pain. We had an out of control, drug using truant daughter who would initiate physical fights with us. One night she called the cops that we had been abusing her. After a short conversation they had with her, they figured out exactly what the deal was; they told us she was a mouthy ingrate, and they told us if we needed to stop her out of control behavior, grab her hair up close to the scalp…leaves no marks, and we would be able to hold her at arm’s length and lead her to her room that way. Thanks for the tip, Cops!

    • wcb2009

      Leave it to a cop to know how to meat out abuse without leaving evidence!

      I have three “out of control” kids also. I never had to cause physical pain to quench a fit. Get creative. There are lots of ways to punish without causing physical pain. Unless of course, you are angry and want to cause pain

      • IronMom

        WCB, I think in my daughter’s case the end justified the means. She’s got a good career, wonderful husband and well behaved kids. The kids she used to run with have none of the above. Now that she’s older, she does thank us for setting her straight. She sees how she could have turned out.

  • wcb2009

    SO a school principal does not know how to discipline a child without violence? If this is true, then parents get your kids out of his school!

    Obviously, the man got angry and hit his kid becuase of anger. Not becuase he needed to for her own good. That is a pathetic excuse!

    • Amigwyn

      So I guess the little boy (11 year old) that shot and kill his mother because he didn’t want to bring firewood in should be in time out? Sometimes children do things that require you to get their attention. If it was your child standing there with a gun pointed at someone’s head, what would you do to get it out of his hands? Talk to him? When do you decide talking isn’t enough??

    • ET

      Wow! What do you do? How are your kids doing? Miss I know everything!

    • ET

      Wow! What do you do? How are your kids doing? Miss I know everything!

      This is meant for wcb2009

  • Amigwyn

    So all you people that are talking about being Christian … do you even read the Bible? Remember, in the Bible it states that it is okay to stone your child to death for disobedience or to stone your neighbor to death if they cause loss of an ox (property). Don’t come here saying it isn’t Christian to DISCIPLINE your child. I agree an extension cord probably wasn’t the best choice … but it was HIS choice. No one on here knows what she did to warrant the discipline. I’m sure it wasn’t because she got a B on her report card! If she had been at a neighbor’s house setting fire to their pet cat, would you feel the same way? Keep your opinions to yourself unless you KNOW what the situation and history of the incident was!

  • Rachelle

    There is nothing wrong disciplining your child or teenager. Though you should not hit them with an extension cord. There are other ways.

  • Neice

    I feel that this whole situation is being taken out of context, yes it is not right to discipline a child with an extension cord but “time out” does not work for an out of control teenager. I was one of those children that was disciplined by way of getting whipped with an extension cord and yes there are still marks left on my legs from this, but I knew that the puniishment was due to my blatant defience. I was one of those kids who did any and everything that I wanted and the only time I got whipped was when my parents had tried every other form of punishment. Is it right, no but did it work yes. I

  • HHSclassof2012

    Speaking from a current Hallandale High School’s perspective:

    Principal Jones is the BEST thing that has happened to Hallandale High school since I enrolled there and my parents agree. As for our football team this year, we never would have made it without him. District Champs! It seemed like every time he was not there to attend a game because of a school board meeting, we lost. Okay, he made a HUGE mistake by “abusing” his child, but no one is perfect. Mr. Jones treated us all as if we were his kids. As a principal he is very understanding. He was a father to all of us. People have bad days. We NEED him back. People make mistakes. He is only human. Honestly, I do not see HALLANDALE ALL-MAGNET HIGH functioning without Mr. Jones.

  • Anonymous

    I also am a student at Hallandale high, just last week in the assembly he clearly stated to us that his temper gets the best of him sometimes. He said that when his wife had just giving birth to their daughter, his wife went to buy something at an “Arab Store” and a man said something to her. Next thing he knew he had the man up against the wall and can’t remember anything else….. he has an out of control anger problem which was stated clearly in that assembly, and he probably got angry again and took out all of his anger on her, i mean come on people what possibly could the innocent little 16 year old girl have done? You all see how big and athletic Mt. Jones is, that little girl was defenseless and he was so ruthless he used a weapon…. I for one am shame to say that I attend Hallandale for the past 3 years.

  • Eugene Butler

    Eugene Butler
    I love it that everyone can state their opinion. Well here it is I have known Darren Jones for over twenty some years. He grew up in the church and had a very loving and strong mother. I have read everything above, and the bottom line is, that is his child. I am sure he tried other means of disciplining his child before moving on to hitting her with a cord. We all want the best for our children; I don’t know any parent that sits back and say I want my child to fail. If she did get hit with a cord, notice I said “if she did” I am sure there was a reason warranting such punishment. Let no man or woman sit in judgment of this parent, or his parenting skills. He is an educator known for bring out the best in kids and turning schools around, so take that into account. We all would rather her father who loves her punish her, than the streets; because they are unforgiving. I would like everyone to take a step back and look at what is wrong here. We are sending a message to our kids it is ok to be disrespectful and do what you want. The last time I checked we are parents and they are our children, not the other way around. In being a child it is their jobs to attend school and listen and learn, respect all adults, and be the best child they can be. Growing up Darren and I have seen what happens to kids without discipline or structure. This is not child abuse it is a loving, caring, father who is trying to take control of his child’s future before it’s too late.

  • Saboo

    Wow Dat Was My Principal Bak In 7th Grade Bak At Perry Middle Skool….

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