Parents concerned after CHS teacher rehired following alleged inappropriate contact with their daughter
He resigned before he could be fired in 2018 after an investigation into alleged inappropriate contact with multiple students
LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - Some parents are upset after finding out a teacher who they say made inappropriate contact with their daughter is back at Columbia High School. Ronald Williams Jr. is angry on behalf of his friends, Shaleda and Chris Mirra.
“[Columbia High Principal] Trey Hosford, you got some questions that need to be answered. Lex Carswell, the superintendent, you got some questions that need to be answered.”
They say their daughter was contacted inappropriately by a teacher at Columbia High School five years ago.
Now, Chris Martinez has returned to the school as the PE coach and defensive coordinator for the football team.
“It was frustrating,” said Shaleda. “It was extremely frustrating...We’re born and raised in Columbia County, we had a little more faith in the administrators in the school system to protect out daughter.”
Martinez resigned from CHS before he could be fired five years ago.
“We are extremely concerned because this individual is now back in the Columbia County school system,” said Shaleda, “with the opportunity to groom other young women, in the same way that he not only tried to groom our daughter but other young women as well.”
Since then he has worked at a couple schools in Union county.
Officials at Columbia High School say that allegations were cleared and there were no criminal charges presented, and thus they felt comfortable hiring him.
“The explanation we got from the Department of Education most recently why there was nothing else they could do was because they didn’t have the text messages,” said Chris. “Well if you clearly read the investigation...he didn’t communicate with any of the victims via text.
The Mirras say investigators were not able to get the full picture.
“It was all done via Instagram or other social media platforms,” said Chris. “Even the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department couldn’t subpoena the records from Instagram.
“All you have is the statements from these victims--their word,” continued Chris. “Why that wasn’t good enough when you didn’t even have a response from the one who was being accused--silence to me is complicity.”
TV20 reached out to the Columbia County Office, the School Board, Columbia High School and Chris Martinez himself, but none of them chose to comment.
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