• Judge says allegations against fired high school band director unwarranted


    PALM BAY, Fla. - A former Heritage High School band director said allegations by the Brevard school district ruined his career.

    James Wilkins was fired last November over accusations of mishandling band money, making sexual comments toward students and harassment, but the judge said the district couldn't prove it.

    A former students said Wilkins harassed him and said he received death threats.

    The allegations eventually cost Wilkins his job.

    Among the original accusations were allegations a student wet herself because he wouldn't let her to go the bathroom.

    She later wrote a statement which contradicted that.

    District investigators said he even made sexual comments about the way a female member of the band played her instrument.

    Turns out -- under oath -- a student admitted he wrote that statement, in frustration, to district investigators who were badgering him.

    Wilkins spent the last year fighting his case and took it before an administrative law judge.

    The judge ruled the district couldn't prove anything, that its investigations weren't fair or based on fact.

    There were so many allegations against him that it took the judge 60 pages to address every single one of them.

    That same judge said two school leaders were looking for reasons to fire Wilkins and went to Heritage High to see what they could dig up.

    "I've been doing this for 37 years. I have never seen an order this direct and this precise," Wilkin's attorney Mark Levine said.

    "To be humiliated like he was during the course of this whole investigation by the district, is something I don't know that you ever recover from."

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