Career counselor says he was fired for reporting harassment of Hispanic students during trip

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OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A former career counselor with the Professional Opportunities Program for Students told Channel 9 he was fired for complaining about how some Hispanic students were treated during a recent trip.

When a group of Hispanic students from Liberty High School embarked on a three-day tour of universities across Florida, their career counselor said he never imagined some of them would end up in tears.

"Some of the girls were crying.  Some of them were upset," said former counselor Jose Bosque.

Bosque said he was fired when he went to his bosses about harassment from black students and adult supervisors toward Spanish-speaking students.

"They are picking on them because they don't know the language," said Bosque. "'Oh, why are they here going to college if they don't even know the language?'"

Days after the trip, Bosque filed a police report, saying the Hispanic students were intimidated, refused bathroom breaks for hours and were physically blocked from leaving the bus.

Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez took the incident report to the POPS headquarters in Orlando, where officials oversee the program that includes about 600 students statewide.  The head of the program told Channel 9 these allegations are simply not true.

Barbara Newton showed Channel 9 an anti-bullying video recently produced by her program and said she investigated the allegations.

"You found no evidence that there was harassment, bullying," asked Alvarez.

"None, none whatsoever," said Newton.

Newton told Channel 9 the problem was mostly among the adults on the bus and that Bosque was the only one who was fired.