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Student reacts to arrest of former Pasco teacher accused of sex with student

12:01 AM, Oct 28, 2011   |    comments
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LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - A former Pasco County teacher is in jail, accused of having sex with a student.  According to the sheriff's office, Maryann Verdi had sex with the student two times.

"I think that's absurd. I don't think anybody that age could honestly look at something that way. That is totally weird," said Sunlake High sophomore, Dana Post, a past student of Verdi's at the beginning of the school year.    

Authorities say the sexual encounters happened back in 2009, when the boy was 15 and again this year, just last month. It was apparently Verdi's boyfriend, Larry Wideman, who caught the two together and triggered the investigation.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says Verdi met the student while teaching at River Ridge High. According to school officials, Verdi was suspended without pay back in 2010 for a domestic battery arrest. With conditions, she was allowed to return to work and was transferred to Sunlake High for the 2011-2012 year. But documents show Verdi was about to be fired for inappropriate conversations and language with students.

She then resigned in early October, when the investigation into her relationship with the teen started.

"The thing I'm really worried about is how much screening the teachers are getting before they're hired here," said George Lambert, whose son goes to Sunlake.

Verdi is being charged with lewd or lascivious battery and unlawful sex with a minor.

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