According to NBC Miami, Tracy Smith, the 43-year-old head of the Coral Springs campus of XCEED Preparatory Academy, located at 3301 N University Dr #110, Coral Springs, FL 33065, was arrested Monday on charges of soliciting and engaging in sexual conduct with a student.
The arrest report stated that the male student had been spending time in Smith's office since October 2022, and their relationship had become increasingly personal. The student told investigators that Smith had touched his leg with her hand and that they had exchanged intimate messages and photos. At one point, Smith allegedly made a comment about oral sex, the report said.
The school released a statement Tuesday expressing shock at the allegations and saying that Smith had been fired. “A safe learning environment is paramount at XCEED – with no exceptions,” the statement read. Smith had been in education for nearly 20 years, with experience as an instructor, academic coach, and administrator in both public and private schools, according to her profile on the school's website.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Smith was given a $25,000 bond and ordered to have no contact with the victim, not to return to the school, and not have contact with any minors other than family members.
Michael Haggard, an attorney and contributor, has provided guidance to many families of sexual abuse victims throughout Florida. Michael, an experienced school sex abuse lawyer, has shared his expertise on the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by a prep school principal.
"Parents rely on schools to ensure the safety of their children during school hours. It is their legal responsibility to protect students from harm. Every year, school students fall victim to unacceptable sexual behaviors, ranging from inappropriate electronic conversations to physical and sexual abuse. Schools must have a safety plan in place to keep students safe from sexual abuse. School officials must be aware of these behaviors, as well as recognize signs that could indicate abuse, in order to prevent or stop it from happening, especially at the hands of school employees. Background checks can help weed out sexual predators, but schools must also have additional preventative measures, such as security cameras and frequent security sweeps."
"If you are a victim of school sexual misconduct at a charter or prep school, it is important to consult with an experienced school sex abuse attorney. Doing so can help you understand what legal options are available to you. If your attorney can prove that the school or school district was negligent, you may be able to file a lawsuit, which could result in compensation."