WUFT News

Former Alachua County teacher gets deferred prosecution

By and on April 10th, 2013

Glen Nichol, Alachua County Teacher of the Year for 2012, is no longer employed by the public school board following a sworn complaint for inappropriately touching at least one of his students at Lawton Chiles Elementary School in Gainesville.

“We received a complaint from a parent at the end of April in 2012, and we immediately removed Mr. Nichol from the classroom and contacted law enforcement for them to begin an investigation,” said Jackie Johnson, spokeswoman for Alachua County Public Schools.

Nichol was moved from his job as a fifth grade teacher into an office job, away from children.

“This was a job that did not involve working with students and did not involve working in the schools; (he was) doing some technology work,” Johnson said.

Nichol agreed to the terms of a deferred prosecution agreement, in which a 24- to 36- month term is not unusual in most felony cases, said Nichol’s attorney, Gilbert A. Schaffnit.

“Once the case is dismissed, this agreement contemplates that unless there’s a violation, that Mr. Nichol would not appear in front of the court, would not have to make any admissions of guilt, would not be adjudicated guilty, and so if he successfully completes the agreement, he will not be a convicted felon and will not have an adjudication of guilt on his record,” Schaffnit said.

He said a deferred prosecution is a contract between the state attorney’s office and the accused. It states that in exchange for doing the things called for in the contract, which would include giving up his teaching license, at the end of the term, the state would file dismissal of the charges.

“The advantage for everyone is that it brings closure to the case,” Schaffnit said. “It allows everyone to go on with their life and not run the risks of engaging in litigation and the uncertainty and the expense and the emotional trauma of going through a trial.”

Johnson said the privacy of students and employees remain on the forefront of importance to the public schools.

“Under state law, we have to protect the privacy of both students and employees,” Johnson said. “And keep in mind, this was an active law enforcement investigation. They have their own process for conducting an investigation. We don’t interfere with that.”

The school board has ongoing checks on teachers to keep issues like this from falling through the cracks.

“Under Florida law, we receive notifications from law enforcement any time any employee has been arrested,” she said. “That is part of state law, but obviously in this case, we were the ones who reported it to law enforcement when we received the complaint.”


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

Susan Bowles hugs Jennifer Anhalt after Anhalt roused the crowd at the town hall meeting Tuesday night regarding standardized test practices in in Alachua County. In an interview after the meeting, Bowles said she was so grateful to have heard Anhalt speak with such skill on the matter that is so close to the hearts of many teachers.

Town Hall Meeting Explains State Tests, Community Reacts

Parents and teachers in Alachua County spoke out against elementary school standardized testing they say is too advanced. Students in kindergarten through second grade are expected to take up to nine state-required tests.


The Office for Student Financial Affairs offers many financial aid
options to provide students with resources and information to understand the rights 
incurred when they receive financial aid. The University of Florida office is located in Criser Hall on Union Road.

New Legislation Lowers Cost of Florida Prepaid College Plans

Beginning Sept. 20, families that purchase a Florida Prepaid College Plan may receive refund benefits, price reductions and waived enrollment fees. Payment reductions will be applied to Prepaid Plans and refund checks will be processed and mailed within four to six weeks after.


Miranda Larkin, 16, stands in a Oakleaf High School bathroom after changing into the dress code violation outfit given to her by the school nurse. This is the photo she sent to her mother, Dianna. The yellow T-shirt and red pants have "Dress Code Violation" written on them.

Clay County Mother Files Complaint Over Dress Code Violation Punishment

A Clay County mother has filed a complaint with FERPA after her daughter was told to wear a pair of red pants and a bright yellow T-shirt with the words “Dress Code Violation” visibly printed on both. The punishment came after an Oakleaf High School teacher said the student’s skirt was too short.


Backlash Leads to Cancellation of FAIR Testing

According to a letter from the Alachua County Superintendent of Schools Owen Roberts, FAIR testing for students in kindergarten through the second grade has been cancelled for the year. The test will be temporarily replaced by an observational sheet for each student.


ACT Scores

Alachua County Juniors Score Higher Than State Peers On ACT

Alachua County Public School juniors continue to outperform their peers in the state on the ACT college entrance exam in 2014 and almost achieve the national average score by students who are graduating. The average overall score for Alachua County juniors is [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments