Teacher arrested on public lewdness charge

Parents say a third-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School in Hempstead was arrested and charged with public lewdness Thursday.
Joshua Thomas, 36, from Central Islip, was hauled away from the school by police around 8:30 a.m. School officials say during the investigation and legal proceedings, Thomas will be suspended from his job and remain off campus. Police say students were not directly involved in the incident.
Hempstead mother Tiashanna Grafton says she wishes school officials had informed parents of what was going on, especially if Thomas was taken into custody on school property.
The school district says it will have social workers and counselors on hand in case students or parents have any questions. Thomas will be arraigned Friday.