Broward teacher removed from classroom after another allegation of sexual misconduct

A Broward teacher has been removed from the classroom after being accused of molesting at least one student at his school. 

Wyman Gresham, a teacher at the public Lauderhill 6-12 Stem-Med Magnet School, was accused of what a police report described as “lewd/lascivious molestation” at the school on Dec. 4 and has been reporting to work at the Broward School Board’s textbook warehouse – far away from children – while the open investigation continues. 

This is far from the first time Gresham, 48, has been accused of sexual misconduct in a Broward County public school. State records show that Gresham, while working as a non-instructional employee for the district in 1998, allegedly offered a 13-year-old female student money “if she would strip for him and perform sexual acts.”

That student was transferred to another school as a result, but Gresham not only remained employed by the Broward County School Board, but he was hired as a teacher in 2002 at Dillard High School, where he was accused in 2002 of more sexual misconduct. This time, a female student alleged that while she was confiding her personal problem to Gresham, he touched her on her hip area and made “inappropriate comments and gestures about sexual acts.” 

That time, the school board found Gresham’s behavior was inappropriate and suspended him five days without pay, but allowed him to continue teaching. 

Based on those two cases, the Florida commissioner of education filed an administrative complaint against Gresham in 2006 seeking to suspend or revoke his teaching certificate. Gresham didn’t contest the allegations and was found guilty of “gross immorality” but again was able to keep his teaching certificate. The state settled the case in 2009 with a written reprimand, a $1,000 fine, three years of employment probation, and a psychological evaluation. All the while Gresham remained teaching for the school district. 

Students and parents at the Lauderhill school said they were aware of allegations made against Gresham. 

“A monster like this doesn’t need to be working at a school around children,” said Latasha Davis, who has two children attending the school. “He doesn’t need to be working around children, period.”

A teacher, who asked not to be identified, echoed those concerns. 

“I think they should have made sure that this man had no additional contact with students,” said the teacher. “I can’t believe that this was allowed to happen.”

The teacher said that Gresham was recently made a “behavioral specialist” in the school, where he was given an office and was tasked with counseling students, at times behind closed doors. Details of the latest allegations are not being shared by police, as the current criminal investigation remains open. 

When Local 10 reporter Bob Norman found Gresham at the textbook warehouse in Oakland Park, Gresham approached him and grabbed his phone camera and turned it off. Norman was able to pull his phone back and turn it on, whereupon Gresham denied that he has assaulted any students. 

Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie said he was not aware of the previous allegations but said the school board was investigating Gresham.  

“Once I have the facts and we can actually see what’s going on, I can tell you without question we’re going to do what’s in the best interest of our students, our families, our communities, and that will never be compromised,” Runcie said. 

“That’s good, because it doesn’t look like that happened in this case,” Norman said. 

“Well I did not deal with this case,” Runcie said. “This was before my time. I am telling you this board will not compromise the safety of our students, our employees and the integrity of what we do in our community.”

For Davis and some others at the school, there can be only one satisfactory outcome: “He needs to go,” she said.

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Schools’ police reviews Baker Act procedures after 7-year-old boy in handcuffs causes outrage

After public outrage over an officer’s decision to handcuff a 7-year-old student, the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department added an extra layer of discretion, Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced Friday afternoon. 

Chief Ian Moffett directed officers to seek the approval of a lieutenant or a higher-ranking official before deciding to remove and detain a disruptive student for a psychiatric evaluation at a hospital, in a practice protected by the Florida Mental Health Act, better known as the Baker Act.  

“These measures will ensure all options have been exhausted, limiting the transport of younger students and providing appropriate checks and balances,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said in a statement.

An officer handcuffed the Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center student after he hit a teacher last week and forced him into the back seat of a patrol car. Video of the incident went viral and outraged parents around the world. 

After a Coral Way Bilingual K-8 Center teacher told the boy not to play with his food during lunch, he punched and kicked her until she fell down, according to the incident report. It was the second time he was put in handcuffs and submitted to a psychiatric evaluation at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami. 

“This action was warranted to prevent his erratic and violent behavior from bringing further harm to others or himself,” Moffett said in a statement after the incident.  

The boy’s parents believe school police officers went too far. Gonzalez-Diego said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho’s chief of staff requested a “detailed review of procedures” regarding the use of handcuffs when transporting “young students during Baker Acts.” The review, she said, is ongoing. 

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This is the third shooting at a middle or high school so far in 2018

There have been at least three shootings at middle and high schools so far this year, and it’s only February 1.

A 15-year-old boy was shot in the head and a 15-year-old girl shot in the wrist at Sal Castro Middle School in Los Angeles on Thursday, according to Los Angles fire Capt. Eric Scott. Two other students were grazed by bullets. A 12-year-old girl was in custody, authorities said.

However, a Los Angeles police spokesman said Thursday night that the middle-school shooting was accidental, ABC reported.

Spokesman Josh Rubenstein says the 12-year-old girl arrested in Thursday’s shooting was being booked on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds.

In the first month of 2018, there were two other shootings at middle or high schools that resulted in death or injury:

On January 23, a 15-year-old student shot 16 people — killing two other 15-year-olds — at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, authorities said. The student faces two charges of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault, authorities said.

Bailey Holt died on the Marshall campus in western Kentucky. Preston Cope died at a hospital.

On January 22, a 15-year-old student was injured in a shooting at a high school in Italy, Texas, authorities said. The suspect, a 15-year-old, was quickly apprehended.

And that’s only the shootings at middle or high schools — other shootings have occurred on campuses this year, including the fatal shooting of a Winston-Salem State University student at Wake Forest University last month.

Two other shootings occurred near high school buildings in January.

On Wednesday, a 32-year-old man was shot and killed in a parking lot outside a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania high school during a basketball game, according to CNN affiliate WPVI. The station said 911 calls came in reporting a large fight and shots fired.

In New Orleans, Louisiana, shots were fired at students who were outside for lunch last week, CNN affiliate WDSU reported. One student suffered an abrasion on his elbow, according to CNN affiliate WVUE.

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Man loiters near Cooper City schools while pleasuring himself, deputies say

A Miami man was arrested Monday for loitering around two Cooper City schools while pleasuring himself, authorities said.

Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion said in a news release Thursday that an undercover detective was patrolling the area of Southwest 90th Avenue Monday when he noticed a light green 2003 Nissan Altima driving near Cooper City Elementary School and Pioneer Middle School.

Concepcion said the detective initially thought the vehicle belonged to a parent waiting to pick up a student, but saw that the man was driving slowly and stopping near areas where children were playing after dismissal.

The detective pulled over the suspect, Jesus Acanda, 54, and saw that the man had his pants unbuttoned, Concepcion said.

Authorities said Acanda threw some tissue paper out the window as deputies approached his car.

According to Concepcion, Acanda gave varying stories about what he was doing in the area and admitted that he was not in the area to pick up a student and doesn’t even live in Broward County.

After being taken into custody, Acanda confessed to masturbating while watching children, Concepcion said.

“I think it is terrible because Cooper City prides itself on being family friendly,” one Cooper City parent said.

“I always tell them, safety in numbers and stranger danger,” another parent, Lisa Nickerson, said. 

Records show that Acanda has previously been arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior and indecent exposure near schools.

He now faces a charge or loitering or prowling.

Detectives are investigating whether Acanda had any contact with any children. Anyone with further information about Acanda or who believes their children were victimized by him is asked to call Detective Glenn Gainey at 954-432-9000. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. 

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