• Orange County never reported teacher's inappropriate texts, comments to DOE


    POLK COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 continues to learn more details in the case against a Polk County teacher accused of having sex with a student.

    Lakeland teacher Jennifer Fichter was charged after authorities said she slept with a 17-year-old student multiple times.

    Prior to her arrest, Channel 9's Kathi Belich learned that while working at Robinswood Middle School in Orange County from 2007 to 2008, Fichter was accused of inappropriately communicating with a student there.

    Orange County investigated her for the alleged improper texts, allowing students to hang out in her Robinswood classroom and telling a teacher she loved a student and felt like his girlfriend.

    Belich said Monday Orange County admitted it never reported the allegations to the Department of Education, which is required by law.

    The Department of Education said Monday that Orange County had 30 days to report the allegations.

    Fichter did not have a teaching certificate when she taught at Robinswood, so there was no certificate to take away or to document the discipline or investigation.

    Fichter apparently got her teaching certificate from the state more than two years after Orange County investigated her.

    Fichter, however, never told the Polk County School District on her application to teach there in 2011 that she had worked in Orange County or that she was investigated and resigned before facing any discipline, Belich said.

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    Orange County never reported teacher's inappropriate texts, comments to DOE