Largo Teacher Arrested For Child Abuse

LARGO – A Largo teacher, charged with child abuse after police say he directed a student to punish another who refused to stop playing cards, tells ABC Action News that the allegations are untrue.

The charges stem from an incident that happened at Largo High School on May  30, the second to last day of school. Largo police say Thomas Farmer, 44, got  upset when a group of students in his technical arts class refused to stop  playing cards.

According to police, Farmer directed one of his students, a 16-year-old  skilled in martial arts, to physically make them stop. Police say that student  then placed a 14-year-old student into a choke-hold until he became unconscious  and fell on the ground, hitting his head.

The police report says Farmer did nothing to stop the incident and actually  actively participated by telling the victim to “tap out.” At the end of class,  police say, the teacher instructed other students to help the victim onto a  school bus.

Police say the victim’s bus driver noticed the student was in distress and  needed medical attention. The bus driver alerted the school resource officer.  The student was then taken to the hospital. After the SRO finished his  investigation, charges of child abuse were forwarded to the State Attorney’s  Office.