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Recurring teacher-student alleged sexual incidents in Duval

6:57 PM, Nov 14, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Another teacher in Duval County was arrested for alleged sexual relations with a student on Tuesday and this latest incident has some parents wondering what can be done to stop what seems to be a growing problem.

For Sandra Corley, the feeling is all too familiar after hearing the news that Atlantic Coast High School English teacher Danielle Reed was arrested Friday for allegedly having sexual relations with a student. Earlier this year, Christopher Bacca, her 11-year-old grandson's teacher at Windy Hill Elementary was arrested for sexual battery of a child younger than 12 years old.

"I was really stunned because my grandson was in his class so I questioned him. Has he ever touched you? Has he ever done anything to you?" said Corley.

With three grandchildren in the Duval County Public Schools system, this grandmother and other parents are starting to wonder if this can be prevented.   

"Me and my daughter, we've been looking at the private schools," said Corley.

Three teacher-student sexual incidents have allegedly occurred in Duval County in 2012. In July, a child told police he spent nights over at Bacca's home, the 2012 teacher of the year at Windy Hill Elementary. The victim said Bacca had touched him inappropriately several times. Bacca pleaded not guilty and goes to trial in December.

The second incident occurred in September when 61-year-old Michael Worrell, a fourth-grade teacher at Greenfield Elementary was arrested and charged with four counts of sexual battery on a child under age 12.

And then most recently, 23-year-old Reed taught ninth and tenth grade English at Atlantic Coast High School is charged for allegedly having sex with a student over 12-years-old but under 18.

New Duval Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said these incidents should not cast a shadow on the entire district.

"This is one bad example of one bad choice. With that said though, we have to have a sense of urgency and own the problem and recognize that this has happened too many times and we need to go back and create new systems and create a culture where adults and children feel comfortable about saying that something might be wrong," said Dr. Vitti.

And alleged teacher-student relations are happening across the state. Miami-Dade County has had at least four teacher-student sexual related incidents this year, Palm Beach County has had nine since last year.

Private schools are not immune to these type of incidents either. Click here to search and find out if your child's teacher has had any disciplinary action taken against his or her educator's certificate.

First Coast News

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