OCOEE, Fla. April 30 2017– Two Ocoee High School teachers were arrested within a week of one another, Orange County Public Schools officals said.
One of the teachers was arrested Friday and the other was arrested Wednesday night, school district officials told Channel 9’s Cuthbert Langley.
Jail records said Orange County deputies arrested Chad Coy, 27, on three counts of sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old by a school authority figure.
District officials said Coy had been employed with the school since 2014. He is a teacher of research and critical thinking, officials said.
Coy taught the 17-year-old and coached her in lacrosse, deputies said. He made the teen participate in sexual activities from October through November, deputies said.
The teen told deputies she was “scared of this man. He’s an older man who was much bigger than me.” She said Coy would keep her after class where he would kiss her on the lips, touch her inappropriately and do other things, deputies said.
Ryan Kirkpatrick was arrested and faces two charges of sexual activity with a 16- or 17-year-old, investigators said.
Kirkpatrick, who is a math teacher, has been with the district since 2014, officials said.
Kirkpatrick is also accused of having a similar relationship with the teen, deputies said.
The teen admitted to investigators that she was attracted to Kirkpatrick and would harmlessly flirt with him, deputies said. She would ask for help on her math homework and he would ask her if she wanted to do other things besides study, deputies said.
The teen’s father contacted the Department of Children and Families about the incidents, and an investigation was launched, deputies said.
Both teachers were placed on administrative leave in November, the district said.
“The district has been cooperating fully with law enforcement and will continue to do so,” a school district spokeswoman said. “We take these allegations very seriously. Student safety is our top priority.”
A school district spokesperson told Eyewitness News that teachers and employees go through a level two background check. The background check does not include a psychological assessment, FDLE said.
Deborah Day, a psychologist, told Eyewitness News that even if there was an assessment, it’s not easy to predict whether a teacher will become inappropriate with a student, especially an adolescent.
“There is no fail-proof way to screen out people for those attractions,” Day said.
Day said she thinks social media is making it easier for teachers to cross the line. However, she doesn’t think there are more cases than in the past.
“We recognize it now for what it is. And, as a society, we’re more willing to intervene with it,” Day said.
Coy remains in the Orange County Jail. Kirkpatrick has posted bail and has a court hearing May 10.