SEBRING — The State Education Practices Commission will consider a settlement agreement with a former Avon Park Middle School science teacher due to allegations that the educator exposed a student to “embarrassment and humiliation.”
Stacy Renee Leaphart’s case goes before the commission on Thursday, Jan. 16.
Some of the identifying information has been blocked out in the material allegations in the administrative complaint that states Leaphart exposed a student to embarrassment and humiliation in front of classmates.
Leaphart asked the student about the discipline received for sexual conduct with middle school males, the complaint states. Leapart asked such questions as how many boys there were, did the student get paid, how much did the student get paid and was the student allowed to keep the money.
Leaphart expressed that she was shocked by the student’s conduct and physically mimicked the activity in front of the class, according to the complaint. As a result of Leaphart’s conduct, the student was subjected to the laughing and ridicule of the classmates.
The proposed settlement agreement states that Leaphart neither admits nor denies, but elects not to contest the allegations in the administrative complaint. She agreed to accept a letter of reprimand that will go in her certification file.
Also, Leaphart agrees to submit to an evaluation, to the issues cited in the administrative complaint, conducted by a psychologist, psychiatrist or mental health counselor. She will bear the cost of the evaluation, treatment and counseling.
Leaphart has agreed to be placed on probation for a period of two employment years and to pay a $2,000 fine.
She was facing termination from the School Board of Highlands County when she resigned Oct. 23, 2018.
Deputy Superintendent Andrew Lethbridge said at the time,”Definitely in our opinion we felt that it was inappropriate topics/subject matter in the class. It dealt with other students and things they were going through.”
Lethbridge didn’t want to provide details because he wanted to protect the privacy of the students.
“It was tied into progressive discipline with similar types of behaviors multiple times where we felt [it was] unprofessional behavior in front of students,” he said.