High school band director accused of harassing students placed on leave

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

A Brevard County high school band director has been put on leave following an internal investigation into allegations he harassed students.

Heritage High School band teacher James Bernard Wilkins is on paid administrative leave for the second time in less than a month after parents and students accused him of inappropriate behavior that often turned sexual.

WFTV's Daralene Jones went to the school board to get his personnel file.

School records show Wilkins received a letter of reprimand on Sept. 21 after he acknowledged that he told a female student that her breasts were "jiggling" during performances or practices and instructed her to wear a "sports bra" to "fix it."

WFTV's search into Wilkins' history started after receiving tips from parents at the high school in Palm Bay.

They said Wilkins has a history of harassing his band students to the point some have quit.

Those complaints sparked investigations from both Palm Bay police and the Brevard County School District.

That prompted other students and parents to complain about more comments they claimed he made that were sexual in nature.

Wilkins took over as band director at Heritage High School in 2009 after he resigned from the Orange County School District, where he was band director at Lockhart Middle, Memorial Middle and Jones High.

It appears Wilkins voluntarily resigned from Orange County because he got the job in Brevard County.

No one with the Brevard County School District was available for comment on Monday.

WFTV went to get Wilkins' home on Monday to get his side of the story, but no one answered.