A Florida mother is upset that a teacher has returned to the classroom after being accused of trading lollipops for massages from elementary school students.
Crystal Leon told WPBF News that her third-grade child, who attends Renaissance Charter School at Tradition in Port St. Lucie, Florida, was given lollipops by a female teacher in exchange for massages on multiple occasions, adding that her child was even pulled out of class to give the teacher a neck rub.
“She came into my daughter’s classroom and asked her teacher, ‘Hey, I need her for five minutes,'” Leon said. “Then she brought [my daughter] into an empty classroom, and said her students gave her a headache and [she] needed a massage. [My daughter] gave her a neck and back massage and she sent her back to class.”
When Leon contacted the charter school and its corporate headquarters to report the teacher, she says the school told her the teacher was suspended for two days during an investigation. “Then the investigation was over,” Leon said.
Frustrated, she posted about her experience on Facebook. “Other parents are contacting me that they questioned their child and their children have also been giving massages for lollipops,” Leon said.
Renaissance Charter School at Tradition released the following statement to WPBF News: “Our highest priority is the safety and security of our students. We take all allegations very seriously and conduct a thorough investigation. We have taken all appropriate actions however we cannot discuss any specific student or personnel issues.”
Leon reached out to the Florida Department of Children and Families as well as the Port St. Lucie Police to file complaints against the teacher. Officers confirmed there is an open investigation, but say that it is unclear if anything criminal is actually happening.
The teacher remains unidentified because she has not been arrested or charged.
On Facebook, Leon cautioned: “Be very aware ask your children questions if they have [the teacher]. I am so disappointed & don't feel like my children are safe now. I can't walk in my child's classroom to get them for any reason, but this teacher that is only with my child at dismissal can without any questions from her teacher.”