South Florida teacher accused of molesting student fired

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Florida teacher accused of molesting student now fired

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A South Florida social studies teacher accused of molesting a middle school student was fired Tuesday, 15 months after he was arrested, school officials said.

Brandon Sutton, 34, of Fort Lauderdale, was arrested Oct. 26, 2018, and charged with one count of lewd and lascivious conduct, according to Broward County court records. According to Lauderhill police, Sutton inappropriately touched a female student under the age of 16 at Parkway Middle School, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Sutton has pleaded not guilty to the charge, and his criminal case is still pending, the newspaper reported.

As a condition of his release from jail in November 2018, Sutton was prohibited from having contact with any minor who was not his biological child, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The Broward County School Board, without discussion, terminated Sutton’s contract Tuesday.

“Accordingly, Sutton has demonstrated an inability to discharge his required duty ... and therefore, has failed to perform his duties as a teacher as he may not have contact with any of his minor students,” according to a district termination request.

A statement from the office of Kathy Koch, Broward County School District’s communication officer, said Sutton had been reassigned to a job with no student contact after his arrest.

Sutton could not be reached for comment, but his attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, said the firing was unjust, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Sutton, who has not been convicted of a crime, plans to appeal the school board's decision.

“I think due process should dictate,” Schwartzreich told the newspaper. “Unfortunately, they made their decision. We look forward to our day in court.”