Danielle Harkins, Teacher, Allegedly Told Students To Cut, Burn Themselves To Get Rid Of Demons

06/14/2012 02:25 pm ET

Danielle Harkins, a 35-year-old teacher at Lealman and Asian Neighborhood Family Center in St. Petersburg, Fla., has been arrested for allegedly instructing students to cut and burn themselves to get rid of demons, NBC Miami reports.

Harkins now faces charges of aggravated child abuse and child abuse, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, who spoke with the station.

The Tampa Bay Times reports one student suffered second-degree burns after the teacher sprayed perfume on the teen's hand before lighting it on fire. Hawkins allegedly also cut another student with a broken bottle and cauterized the wound with a key she heated up with a flame.

Authorities were alerted after one of the teens sent a text message to a friend, who showed it to their parents, WTSP-TV reports.

"I'm okay," a 17-year-old teen who attended the ritual told the Miami Herald. "I'm fine. All I know is she's in custody."

Harkins is being held on $55,000 bail and has been put on unpaid suspension from the school.

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