JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A social studies teacher at Lake Shore Middle School was suspended without pay Monday after school officials learned he allowed his students to kiss and expose body parts during a game of Truth or Dare during class in May.
Brent Sawdy, one of 15 semifinalists for 2017 Duval County Teacher of the Year, was investigated after school police were notified of the incident in his classroom. According to the 16-page report, while playing a game they called "Dirty Dare," two girls allegedly exposed their breasts, a boy licked a girl's breast and students were kissing.
Parents who learned about the incident, contacted the school, and police were called.
According to the investigative report, several seventh-grade students interviewed said the incident happened after returning to his class after a field trip to the Diamond D Ranch. They told police that Sawdy told them he had work to do and gave them them free time to work on note cards. He put on some music and stayed at his desk while the students played the game.
A total of 15 students were interviewed, and not all reported inappropriate behavior.
During Sawdy's interview, he confirmed he gave his class an independent study period and put on a video of Bill Nye, the Science Guy and turned the lights off, although there was ambient light coming in the windows. When he realized no one was watching the video, he put on music. He said the only inappropriate behavior he saw was a boy try to slap a girl on her leg. He said he pulled the boy aside and told him that kind of playing could get the boy in trouble.
An investigator from Duval County Public Schools' Office of Equity and Inclusion/Professional Standards determined "there is a preponderance of evidence to support the allegations that Mr. Sawdy failed to provide adequate supervision when he allowed students in his class to participate in an inappropriate game which involved kissing and exposure of private parts."
Sawdy was found to have violated two standards professional standards. Human resources suggested that Sawdy be placed on a seven-day suspension without pay. On Monday, the Duval County School Board approved that recommendation.
Florida Department of Children and Families conducted a parallel investigation and also substantiated that Sawdy provided inadequate supervision.