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Sunday 25 February, 2024
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Donna Barber, Florida teacher resigns after sheriff exposes intimate video chats with Lawrence Ray

BY Anas Shah Jan 24, 2023. 10:59 pm UPDATED: Jan 24, 2023. 11:30 pm

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According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, a Florida teacher resigned this week after being discovered having obscene video conversations with her prisoner partner from her office while classes were in session.

After being informed that she would probably be fired, 52-year-old Donna Barber, an experienced teacher in Franklin County, decided to retire.

After Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith assigned a staff member to watch inmates’ video conversations at the neighbourhood jail, the matter came to light earlier this month.

During several of her correspondences with prisoner Lawrence Ray, the observer noticed Barber undressing and having sexually explicit conversations.

Donna Barber

According to Smith, a video assessment of their earlier contacts revealed Barber and Ray were holding similarly graphic video conferences, some from Barber’s school office throughout the workday.

In a Facebook video posted earlier this month, the sheriff expressed his concerns about improper interactions between inmates and visitors while highlighting Barber’s situation.

Donna Barber

The sheriff said he eventually took down the video after it drew more than 25,000 views because of inappropriate messages left in the comments section.

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“Jail is not a resort,” Smith added. “People in jail need to abide by the rules, you have to have order. Otherwise you can have chaos and it can be dangerous for the staff that has to deal with the inmates.”

Smith said an ex of Ray’s who was unaware of his relationship with Barber had entered the chat at one point and the dialogue spun out of control.

While the local state attorney concluded there were no grounds for criminal charges, Barber’s employer launched a probe after Smith released the video.

The school was initially unaware the misconduct took place on campus and later widened its investigation after learning that had been the case.

 

Donna Barber

Smith’s screenshots show both sides in a split-screen configuration, with Barber in her classroom and Ray at a cafeteria with other prisoners in the background.

Prison video chats, according to Smith, have increased in popularity recently because they don’t require as much personnel as in-person visits.

According to a school source, Barber’s destiny caused disagreement among parents and staff members despite the fact that she was a well-liked teacher who had been teaching for close to 30 years.

Donna Barber

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However, they also asserted that it was improper for her to correspond with Ray in the manner that she did from a school office.

In order to participate in a video conference with a prisoner, one must adhere to the regulations of the institution, which state that any communications “may be monitored or recorded by the detained person’s correctional facility or by us…

We won’t accept any behaviour that is unlawful or inappropriate in any way, including indecent exposure.

Additionally, it states that if the personnel watching them feel that the video has exceeded a boundary and become improper, they may stop it at any moment.

The Franklin County State Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

 

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