Former Polk teacher asked students for sexual photos

A former teacher in Haines City has been charged with asking girls for sexually explicit photos of themselves and having sexual contact with one of them, according to the Ledger.

Curtis Temples Jr., 25, of Lakeland, was accused of a series of incidents in which he approached the girls between June 2014 and March 2016, according to an arrest affidavit filed by the State Attorney's Office.

He was a teacher at Ridge Community High School.

The Polk County School District found that Temples reportedly admitted to then-Principal Sherry Wells that he had communicated "through text messages, phone applications and online social media" to at least two students who were in his class, according to the affidavit.

The School District launched an internal investigation in April about his having inappropriate communication with a student, said Jason Geary, the district's spokesman. Temples was placed on administrative leave with pay at that point.

The initial review found violations of district policy as well as Florida’s ethical teaching standards, Geary said. But before the investigation could be completed, Temples resigned on April 11 in lieu of being fired. He had no other disciplinary action in his personnel file.

A complaint was filed in May with the State Attorney's Office by the Haines City Police Department, Chief Assistant State Attorney Brian Haas said Thursday. He said charges weren't filed until now because his office was conducting an investigation to build a case.

During a taped interview, the affidavit said, Temples admitted to using his cellphone to solicit nude photographs of breasts from two of his female students. He said he did that because of his "male urges."

He also admitted to using his cellphone to ask a student to participate in sexual games and bathe with him.

The affidavit also includes statements by students who gave sworn statements about Temples approaching them about nude photographs and sexual contact.

Temples was hired on Aug. 11, 2014, by the district and was paid $39,999 a year. He did not have previous disciplinary action in his personnel file, Geary said. The district referred the case to the Florida Department of Education’s Professional Practices Services for review.


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