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Details emerge about arrest of Douglas Anderson music teacher

Published on March 23, 2023 at 3:23 pm

An arrest warrant offers details about what led to the arrest Wednesday of a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts music teacher on a charge of lewd conduct involving a student.

The warrant, released Thursday, details about 1,700 text messages between the student and suspect Jeffrey Payne Clayton, 65, that started in August.

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It also describes what police say happened in the teacher’s office March 17, when the student was dropped off for after-school voice lessons in preparation for an upcoming performance, the warrant said.

“The teacher largely talked about his romantic and ‘intoxicating’ feelings he has for the student,” the warrant says, adding that he rubbed her leg and kissed her.

Clayton remains jailed on $165,000 bail after his arrest Wednesday at the school on charges of soliciting lewd conduct with a student and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, according to Duval County jail records.

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The student is believed to be over 18 years old, according to a Duval County School Police report released Wednesday.

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The two-page arrest warrant says Clayton, after touching the student, began the singing lesson about 10 minutes before the parent was due to pick up the child.

The victim later told a friend about what had happened, and a school district employee and a Clay County sheriff’s deputy visited her home March 19, the warrant said.

Duval County School Police investigators met with the family Tuesday, and the victim made a recorded call to Clayton, the warrant said. The victim also provided recent screenshots of text messages between them, one from the teacher stating: “I feel freaking amazing! Wow!”

Clayton is listed on the high school website as the vocal music department chair. School district records state that he began as a music teacher at Douglas Anderson on Aug. 9, 2000. He has taught there continuously since, other than a short disciplinary reassignment from Jan. 17 to 23, 2013. District officials had no further details about that discipline for now, saying his file contains documents that cannot be shared until they are reviewed.

Tina Wilson, principal of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, informed parents about the arrest in a message that called the news “tremendously disappointing.” She said Clayton will not return to the school or have any interaction with students.


author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.
author image Reporter, WJCT News 89.9 Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years of experience in radio, television, and print reporting. He has worked at various stations in the Northeast and Jacksonville. Prior to joining the WJCT News team, Dan spent 34 years at The Florida Times-Union as a police and current affairs reporter.