Westridge Middle School Acting Dean Under Investigation
ORLANDO, Fla. — The acting dean of an Orange County middle school is under investigation after several children accused him of groping them.
- Principal sent message to parents acknowledging investigation
- Boy says employee touched him, offered money to see private parts
- School employee has been placed on administrative leave
Westridge Middle School Principal Matt Turner issued a recorded message to parents and guardians Monday night acknowledging the investigation into inappropriate conduct by an employee at the school.
According to a heavily redacted Sheriff’s Office incident report, all of the victims are children. It documents statements from a male student at the school, who told a deputy that the dean groped him both on campus and at a home after he’d been picked up from church. The groping incidents spanned from mid-April to as recent as May 8, and involved at least two of the boy’s friends, the report says.
The boy told the deputy that in addition to the groping, the school employee would offer him money in exchange to see his private parts and ask him inappropriate questions that would make the boy uncomfortable and prompt him to tell the employee to stop.
The child said he had text messages from the employee offering money and making inappropriate jokes.
The boy said he didn’t report the incidents right away because the employee frequently buys him lunch and supports him at school. But he had a change of mind after talking with friends and concluding that the behavior might be indicative of “some greater acts of sexual assault,” the Sheriff’s Office report says.
The Department of Children and Families has been contacted.
Turner’s message said the employee had been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his investigation.