Clay High School teacher accused of aggravated child abuse on 1-month-old girl

Don Johnson

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- A Clay High School Spanish teacher has been arrested by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office and faces accusations of child abuse of a 1-month-old girl.

Gabriel Quant, 41, was arrested Wednesday on an aggravated child abuse charge, according to an arrest report obtained by NewsBreak. Quant has been suspended with pay from his teaching duties pending the outcome of an investigation, according to the school district.

The report shows that Quant was arrested after the child was brought to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville on Tuesday. The child suffered from a left leg fracture and had severe bruising on her buttocks.

Quant told an investigator that while changing a diaper, he “snapped,” lifted up the child by one leg and began spanking her repeatedly on the buttocks, the report said. Investigators wrote in the report that the leg fracture resulted from lifting the baby up by one leg and twisting her to the side as he struck her buttocks “a few times.”

Quant said he had been stressed recently due to the death of his mother and having a new baby. He said he did not initially realize he had injured the child, the report said.

NewsBreak obtained a statement about the arrest from Clay County District Schools. The statement said:

“Clay County District Schools has been made aware of the arrest of one of our teachers. The allegations against the employee are related to events that took place off-campus and not directly related to the employee’s teaching duties. The district is following policy and the employee has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.”

He has worked in Clay County schools since 2014, according to the district.

Quant’s bond has been set at $100,000, according to the sheriff’s website.

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Clay High School teacher arrested on WednesdayPhoto via St. Johns County Sheriff's Office

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Veteran journalist with experience in website and newspaper content as an editor and writer. I have worked as a reporter at newspapers and websites in Florida, California and Arkansas. I am a former executive editor at the Tampa Bay Business Journal and worked for 12 years at The Tampa Tribune as an enterprise editor and business editor. At Patch.com, I produced stories for 24 websites in the Tampa Bay area and also edited content for websites in six states.

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