Florida revokes license of former Forest Hill High School teacher

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Kimberly Charles, a former teacher at Forest Hill High School, lost her right to work in Florida public schools after a years-long process that began when police accused her of having a sexual relationship with a student from 17 years.

The relationship began around 2018, and the teacher’s “flirty behavior” eventually caught the attention of a school district employee and other witnesses. This led to a 2019 investigation and a detectives’ interview with a girl, who described “sexual activity” and sleepovers at Charles’ house, according to a police report.

After his 2020 arrest, Charles avoided a conviction for lewd conduct against a student by pleading guilty to the lesser charge of contributing to the delinquency of a child, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Read more: Forest Hill High teacher had sex with student, police say

Charles, who taught English to speakers of other languages ​​in Forest, also agreed to resign from the Palm Beach County School District and not seek re-employment at local schools or other jobs “nearby. children”.

Now the Florida Department of Education has permanently revoked her educator certificate, according to an order filed Wednesday. Educator certificates are required to work as a teacher, administrator, guidance counselor, or media specialist, among other school positions.

And under Florida law, when a person’s educator certificate is revoked, they can no longer work “in any capacity requiring direct contact with students” at a public school.

The revocation follows an administrative complaint filed in November 2021 by then Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, who called for sanctions against the Palm Beach County teacher, adding to the sentence handed down in her criminal case the previous year.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen ordered Charles, 29, of West Palm Beach, to serve 30 days in jail and complete a year of probation, although the judge later agreed to end his probation early .

She also had to write a letter of apology, complete 100 hours of community service and undergo a psychological evaluation, as well as all recommended treatments.

Charles declined to comment through her attorney, Arthur Schofield, who represented her in the Education Department disciplinary case.

Giuseppe Sabella is an education reporter for the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. You can reach him at [email protected] Help support our journalism and subscribe today.

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