MIAMI (WFLA) – A high school teacher in Florida is accused of sexually abusing multiple female students during his 14 years of teaching.
A lawsuit filed by a former student claims Jason Meyers, 41, groomed at least eight current and former students at two schools in Miami-Dade as the district turned the other cheek. He was arrested in February 2016 for sexual battery of a minor at Palmetto High School.
The plaintiff said Meyers encouraged his creative writing students to write sexually explicit content and read sexually explicit novels like “Lolita,” and pointed them to specific passages in the book about an older man seducing a young girl. He allegedly gave one student provocative clothes to wear in class, and tried to force another to break up with her boyfriend. He told the same student to title a poem she had written, “Come Inside Me,” according to the Miami Herald. The suit says it was common knowledge these students were known as “Jason’s girls,” and that they would often spend time alone with Meyers locked inside his classroom.
Meyers is also accused of forcibly kissing and groping the plaintiff and having sex with a student inside his classroom.
Concern about his inappropriate relationships with students dates back to the beginning of his tenure. The victim claims school officials were aware of the misconduct before his 2016 arrest.
“In response, (the school system) transferred Meyers to Palmetto High School, where he continued to have unfettered access to female students,” the suit states.
The suit claims the principal of Palmetto High School was first informed about him sleeping with a student in 2008.
“As alleged, the School Board knew that Mr. Meyers posed a serious risk of sexual abuse against our community’s children. Yet it did virtually nothing to stop him,’’ said Miami attorney Mark Schweikert, who filed the suit along with partner Ronald Weil. “Instead, the School Board merely relocated the risk posed by his predatory behavior from one school to another.”
The district “failed to promptly and adequately report, investigate, redress and otherwise respond to its notice that Meyers posed a serious danger of sexual abuse and exploitation to female students,” allowing Meyers to transfer to a new school where “he continued to have unfettered access to female students,” the suit states.
The lawsuit also accuses the school of violating Title IX, a federal law that protects against gender-based discrimination.
Meyers was fired from the school following his 2016 arrest. The case is ongoing.
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