CRANFORD — A now-former educator has been expelled from the teaching profession after threatening gun violence against his school.

Matthew Acosta, 34, of Kenilworth, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Thursday.

While the conviction is for a low-level offense, Acosta will pay the price by losing his job and his teaching certificate. He also is banned from ever holding a public job of any kind in the state or from setting foot on Cranford school property.

Acosta was arrested in November after he made a disturbing comment to a co-worker at Orange Avenue School.

The co-worker told authorities that Acosta told her that he would "probably just bring his gun and shoot up the place."

When she asked him if he was joking, Acosta replied "not you" and asked where she would be during a certain time of the day.

According to investigators, Acosta had faced several disciplinary infractions since being assigned to the school in may. Investigators said he was having a difficult time adjusting to his new job as a special education teacher.

He was charged with one count of third-degree terroristic threats and one count of fourth-degree risking widespread injury or damage.

Acosta was released from custody after a mental health evaluation determined that he was not a danger to himself or others.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email

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