WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County teacher arrested three times in the last two weeks had a "history of psychiatric hospitalizations" and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to a newly released court document.
WPTV on Wednesday obtained a risk protection order against Hawazin Wright, 43, which was granted by a judge on Nov. 22, ordering Wright to "immediately surrender all weapons, firearms and ammunition in his custody, control or possession," as well as any concealed carry license, and not attempt to buy or receive any weapons, firearms or ammunition.
The order said Wright "poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or others by having a weapon, firearm or any ammunition in his custody or control."
Wright, who is currently in the Palm Beach County jail on $40,000 bond, is on administrative leave within the School District of Palm Beach County.
The newly granted risk protection order extends a similar RPO issued against Wright last year following a domestic incident between the teacher and his wife on Nov. 5, 2022.
According to court documents, when West Palm Beach police officers responded to Wright's home at about 3:30 a.m., Wright's wife told them her husband had been "diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder," was taking "several medications," had "recently been having mood swings" and had a "history of psychiatric hospitalizations."
At the time, Wright's wife said the teacher owned a Glock 45 9mm handgun, which he kept in his nightstand.
More than a year later, a new RPO was issued on Nov. 22, just three days after Wright was arrested on Nov. 19 after West Palm Beach police said he interrupted a pro-Palestinian rally on Okeechobee Boulevard while carrying a "10-inch knife with a curved blade" under his shirt, court documents show.
West Palm Beach Police Deputy Chief Richard Morris said after the protest incident that Wright was on their radar.
"I was out at the protest, and he caught my attention, and it was very concerning," Morris said. "I directed my people that he needed to be arrested. His behavior was very, very erratic, offensive and really could have caused a problem."
After the protest, Morris said the bizarre and violent behavior continued.
"Our big concern with him is how many actions of erratic behavior have occurred in the last couple days," Morris said. "It's been a constant pattern. He's showing a pattern that is very concerning to us. Some people get put in the system and you don't hear from them for a while. We've heard from him almost a couple times a week. That's very concerning for us because it means he's acting out."
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The next day, on Nov. 20, after Wright had gotten out of jail, investigators said the teacher posted comments on the West Palm Beach Police Department's Facebook page, threatening police and conveying "that he was angry with police. He stated he was arrested illegally and his rights were violated," the RPO stated.
Wright, who has been employed by the School District of Palm Beach County since 2017, was arrested again four days later on Nov. 24 in downtown West Palm Beach on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of ecstasy/MDMA.
According to Wright's arrest report, he was carrying a 12-inch retractable baton and was "extending it in a threatening manner."
Two days later, Wright was arrested for a third time on Nov. 26 on charges of making harassing phone calls and a written threat to kill or do bodily harm after police said he repeatedly called and texted a woman he was dating who had cut off contact with him.
"I'm not sure when the alleged text messages occurred," Wright told a Palm Beach County judge on Monday. "But I never received any verbal directive from her to stop calling her or texting her. I thought we were gonna have dinner on Saturday night. And then she just called the police on me."
It should be noted that all three arrests over the last two weeks occurred during Thanksgiving break while schools were not in session.
Court records show that Wright was also arrested back on April 26 for violating a domestic violence injunction. In that case, Wright's arrest report stated he called his wife and threatened her, violating a no-contact order that was in place.
Records from the School District of Palm Beach County show Wright received a written reprimand on Aug. 9 for insubordination and ethical misconduct after an incident at Christa McAuliffe Middle School.
Wright was also instructed on May 9 to "cease and desist" from communicating with any students, either in-person or electronically, until being cleared to return to regular assigned work duties.
Morris said he's been in touch with the Palm Beach County School District Police Department regarding the case.
"Some of the language coming out of his mouth is very offensive, very hateful, very concerning, and someone like that definitely should not be around children," Morris said. "We're communicating with the School District Police Department at the district. They've got their own process. I've very confident the process will be fulfilled and an acceptable outcome will come of it."
WPTV contacted the Palm Beach County Public Defender's Office representing Wright, but the office said it could not comment on the case.
The School District of Palm Beach County has a policy in place explaining the procedures for self-reporting an arrest.
The policy says: "All district employees will self-report in writing with the appropriate documentation any arrests and/or criminal charges, including criminal traffic violations, to the employee's immediate supervisor/designee within forty-eight (48) hours of said arrest and/or criminal charges. In addition, all district employees shall self-report in writing any conviction, finding of guilt, withholding of adjudication, commitment to a pretrial diversion program, or entering a plea of guilty, guilty in your best interest, or Nolo Contendere for any criminal offense other than a minor traffic violation within forty-eight (48) hours after the final judgment has been entered."
A review of Wright's personnel file shows he began teaching in the school district in 2017 at the now-closed Odyssey Middle School. He then moved to Christa McAuliffe Middle School. He was rated as a highly effective teacher in 2021, the most recent year his evaluation is available. He began teaching English in August at Boynton Beach High School, according to district documents.