Accused teacher removed from classroom

Girl says man choked her, touched her inappropriately

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Biltmore Elementary School teacher who has been accused by a student and the girl's parents of choking and touching the girl inappropriately and choking her has been removed from the classroom.

The family's complaint is being investigated by Duval County Public Schools police and the Department of Children and Families.

So far, the teacher's name is not being made public. Until the matter is settled, the teacher will be reassigned.

The girl said the male teacher would follow her into the bathroom to help her and touch her inappropriately. She said he put his hands around her neck and told her to "be good."

The Department of Children and Families is looking into the allegations.

The school district put out a statement that said removing the teacher on Monday wasn't justified. But Tuesday night was a different story.

Myesha Roundtree, the girl's mother, said a couple other students in the classroom made similar claims about their teacher.

Roundtree said the teacher should have been removed from the classroom immediately while DCF investigated.

"I'm excited about the partial justice for my daughter, but it's a shame that I had to go through the media to get justice," said Roundtree.

Roundtree said she learned about the incident Thursday from DCF after they got the information from another student. Since then, Roundtree said her daughter is scared to be alone.

"I just make sure she sleeps in the bed with me now every night. I'm scared to have her around other people at their house," said Roundtree. "I never thought that something like this would happen to me."

In a statement Tuesday, Duval County School Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti announced the male teacher, who Channel 4 is not identifying, was removed from the classroom.

The statement reads, "Based upon additional information received during the investigation, I have decided to remove the teacher from the school effective today. Earlier today the teacher was not in the classroom and instead reported to the media center as the investigation continued. The preliminary information received on Thursday and Monday did not justify the teacher being removed from the classroom."

DCF and the school district are still investigating the incident.

Roundtree said she doesn't plan to send her child back to Biltmore Elementary. She said she is looking into enrolling her daughter into another school and hiring a lawyer.