After naming a teacher who was recently arrested for domestic violence against his wife who is suffering from cancer their “Teacher of the Year,” we’ve now learned that their new principal was arrested too. According to an arrest affidavit from the Palm Bay Police, then Discovery Elementary 5th Grade teacher Michael James Davis was arrested after several teachers approached the principal in reference to pills be taken from their purses.
When approached by the principal about the allegations, Mike Davis admitted that he went into several teacher’s purses and took prescriptions pills from them. He admitted the same to the investigating officer. According to the police, Davis had been stealing the pills for at least 2 years. Upon his arrest, Davis resigned as a teacher with Brevard Public Schools effective 9/2/2010; the day he was caught by another teacher. He was charged accordingly:
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According to 2013 records with the Florida Department of Education, Davis reached a settlement agreement with the state, and was reprimanded in writing, and placed on probation for two years. The criminal charges were not prosecuted after Davis completed a pre-trial intervention program and rehabilitation.
Guilty of gross immorality or an act involving moral turpitude
Guilty of personal conduct which seriously reduces his effectiveness as an employee of the school board
Violated the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession
Used institutional privileges for persona gain or advantage
Failed to maintain honesty in all professional dealings
Now he’s been selected by the board at Odyssey Charter Jr/Sr High to lead the entire organization. Students are also apparently aware of his past calling him the “Pill Popping Principle” and already questioning his authority for the position. But more concerns have arisen separate and apart from his criminal record, to if he’s even qualified for the position.
According to a November 2022 board report, Davis was recently designated as the Odyssey School Safety Specialist (OSSS) and Due Process Coordinator for all Odyssey schools. In the minutes of the meeting, one of the board members, Conrado Martinez is quoted as saying “What exactly is a due process coordinator?” Ironically, the minutes also reflect that Davis was over the school’s Narcan (Naloxone) policy, and explained when to use it.
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“School safety specialist” means the designee per Section 1006.07(6)(a), F.S., responsible for the oversight of all aspects of school safety and security within the school district and who is a school administrator or a law enforcement officer. It’s not clear if all the other candidates for this important position also had a criminal history of theft and drug abuse, or if the board simply thought Davis was the best fit for the job despite his history. Davis did not respond to comment for this article, however he has been commenting on our Facebook page.
Every assistant principal at Odyssey holds multiple teacher certifications, as well as a state certification in education leadership. A requirement for Brevard Public Schools is that principals have at least a masters degree, and in order to get a certification in administrative leadership, a masters degree is required. Not only does Mike Davis not meet the requirements for the position under BPS and the state, his only teaching certification is in elementary education. Fortunately for Davis but unfortunately for the public, charter schools in Florida are not required to have individuals actually certified for the position, as administrators.
As a result of the new assigned leadership, we are told that at least 12 teachers and staff are not returning to the school next year, including 2 assistant principals. According to staff, and even the post by his wife, Davis has already been acting as principle this year, while the current principal is still in the position. (He is also not returning) Staff are complaining of a hostile work environment under Davis.
Just yesterday after we reported the arrest of their teacher of the year, Davis promptly sent out a threatening email to all staff for “leaking” the public information, and wrongfully characterizing it as “private.”
To be clear, we reported everything accurately and completely about Odyssey’s teacher of the year Mr. Tim Carney, citing the appropriate public records. We would also not characterize something that happened at the end of January this year as “a while ago.”
However, along the lines of the rule cited in his email to the staff, Thomas Rebman, a teacher at Odyssey who is the subject of an investigation involving racial discrimination and harassment, (article to follow) was just today making malicious and false statements about his colleagues when he was shown our response to Davis’ email by Davis himself. He was then witnessed by several teachers screaming at and berating a fellow teacher in the halls of the school this morning over “missing documents.”
With the amount of staffing shortages Odyssey is facing, it’s unclear how they plan to function as a school next term. Parents have already been complaining of classrooms with nearly 40 students, classrooms of teachers who have resigned empty of a teacher and students just given worksheets to do, and even parents receiving text messages from the school asking them to come substitute teach.
Their latest board report states that they have a waiting list of students for all 3 schools which is expected to grow with the expansion of Florida’s voucher program. What they don’t have however is a waiting list of applicants to teach those students.
We have received dozens of written complaints from parents, current, and former staff of Odyssey Charter Schools; many with extremely troubling allegations. As we await official records, we are working on putting together a comprehensive report for the public, as many concerned parents have asked for.
Here is a link of helpful resources available in Brevard County for anyone dealing with substance abuse or mental health concerns.