• Brevard kindergartners accused of inappropriate touching; Teacher under investigation


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A complaint of disturbing behavior in a kindergarten class brought state agents to an elementary school in Mims.

    It started with a bullying complaint but turned into an investigation about inappropriate touching, among the school's youngest students.

    One parent spoke to Channel 9's Melonie Holt to express her support of the teacher who was in charge of the classroom.

    The teacher resigned last week, before the allegation of inappropriate touching in her classroom came to light.

    On Thursday Brevard County school officials held a news conference to try to head off concerns about bad behavior in a kindergarten classroom at Mims Elementary.

    "The allegations occurred on the school campus," said Andria Alford, director of district security for Brevard County Public Schools.

    The allegations involve some inappropriate show-and-tell, specifically children exposing private body parts to one another and some inappropriate touching among grade-school children.

    Ruthann Williams-Smith has two children and a little sister at the school.

    "You've got kids; at that age do you think they knew they were doing anything wrong?" Holt asked Williams-Smith.

    "At kindergarten age? No. But me personally, I talk to my kids," she said.

    Florida Department of Children and Families and Brevard County sheriff's deputies are talking to the 16 children in the classroom where these alleged incidents occurred.

    Investigators believe it was childhood exploration and no adults were involved, but they are looking into whether the teacher knew what was going on and if she did anything to intervene.

    While the children aren't under criminal investigation, their former teacher could face charges if deputies find she provided inadequate supervision in her classroom.

    WFTV was told the teacher's resignation wasn't a result of the investigation.

    "The incident involving the teacher-involved performance issues it had nothing to do with this," said Michelle Irwin, a Brevard Public Schools spokesperson.

    The first-year teacher has not been charged with a crime. The district said she's has been replaced by a veteran classroom teacher. 

    Once the investigation has concluded, deputies will work with the state attorney's office to determine if any type of neglect charge is warranted.

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