St. Lucie County school superintendent apologizes for the action of four employees

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - It has been a year where student achievement in the St. Lucie County School District has been overshadowed at times by the alleged misbehavior of those entrusted with their education.

Four St. Lucie County school district employees, three of them teachers, have been arrested during this school year.

For the new superintendent, it has been challenging seeing some go from the classroom, to the courtroom.

"Cruising to Excellence" is the theme adopted by St. Lucie County public schools, but for first year superintendent Gennelle Zoratti Yost, it hasn't been all smooth sailing.

"I apologize to the parents for this unfortunate situation," said Yost on Monday.

Charges involving district employees range from interfering with the custody of a minor, to lewd and lascivious behavior, to unlawful sexual activity.

Last Friday, one mother we spoke with told us how her daughter, a former student of teacher Dan Hussan, is now being home schooled.

"Many, many mornings, she would vomit on her way to school," the mother said.

Yost says there are criminal background checks done and all teachers must abide by a code of principles and ethical conduct.

"The safety and security of our students is paramount, " Yost added.

One clause spells out a teacher "shall not exploit a relationship with a student for personal gain or advantage."

"The diligence of all of us, all of our eyes and ears is extremely important as we consider the welfare of all our students," added the superintendent.

Of the four cases, only one employee, Cecilia Alvarez, is no longer with the district.  She was fired at the last school board meeting.

Cases involving Dan Hussan and Delrico Choates are moving through the courts. Deron Bauer, arrested just last week, is still in jail.

"It is disheartening, it is unfortunate, but we will proceed through the process to make sure those individuals are not in contact with students any longer," said Yost.

The superintendent says no specific measures are being taken right now, but they do look at things like the teachers code of ethics year round to see if changes need to be made.


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