SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Officials said a Seminole High School teacher is off the job after he developed an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student.
Channel 9’s Kenneth Craig went to Larry Bell’s house, but Bell quickly pulled out of his driveway when he saw WFTV’s cameras.
The school district’s investigation included 223 text messages between Bell and a female student.
More than half of them were during the school day.
“It’s inappropriate. It shouldn’t have happened, and I’m glad he got fired,” said parent Amanda Perri.
The student’s mother tipped off school leaders about the relationship.
The student later told investigators she started talking to Bell when she was in ninth grade, and that she confided in him about problems at home.
The girl said they had a father-daughter type of relationship and that it was not romantic.
Bell told officials the same thing.
“It’s still the teacher’s responsibility to know where to draw the line,” Perri said.
Bell told investigators the student filled a void in his life.
But Bell took that a step further, when he co-signed an apartment lease so she could move out of her mother’s home.
The two exchanged “I love you” text messages, but insisted the relationship was not physical.
Sanford police could not find evidence that Bell did anything criminal, but school leaders said it was, without question, inappropriate.
A couple years ago, Bell received a letter of reprimand for an interactionhe had with a another student.