Duval County School Board votes to fire Bacca
Elementary school teacher accused of molesting a child
The Duval County School Board voted to fire Christopher Bacca Tuesday night. The teacher is facing multiple charges and is accused of having a sexual relationship with a child.
Duval County Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals said the board would not wait until the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office finishes its criminal investigation to move forward with Bacca's termination.
"The superintendent had recommended he be suspended without pay pending termination, so he was essentially terminated this evening," said disrict spokeswoman Jill Johnson.
Bacca is accused of molesting a boy in his home. The decision on his job will be made whether the legal system finds him guilty or not.
can't have this situation. We're looking at it closely and we expect to have a report the week after next."
Police reports show Bacca showered with a boy, who police said slept in his bed before the assault. Bacca faces six felony counts of molesting a child younger than 12.
Bacca's case has raised eyebrows in and around the school district, particularly because he had been removed from Long Branch Elementary school in 2009 for having a questionable relationship with a child.
Bacca was investigated by police and DCF in 2009 but since no charges were filed, Duval County Schools decided to keep Bacca on as a teacher, but removed him from Long Branch and placed him in Windy Hill Elementary school.
In talking with district officials, none would say if they made a mistake by putting Bacca back in another school, but they are reviewing what happened and Bacca's investigation will be the topic of conversation in a board workshop in the coming weeks.
"There's certain info in his file that we used for Mr. Bacca's employment, he wasn't arrested at the time," said board member W.C. Gentry.
Gentry said the district had already been reviewing human resources policies prior to the Baca case. The board was looking to make sure no teachers on staff could be a threat to students, but when they learned about the situation with Bacca, the process was sped up.
"We just had a new human resource person put in to look at our policies," said Gentry."But, obviously this has given it more impetus, obviously we can't have this situation. We're looking at it closely and we expect to have a report the week after next."
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