According to Local 10 News, a South Florida teacher has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of inappropriate behavior with children. Eric Givens, 29, was arrested after two separate incidents were reported at two different school sites.
The first incident happened at Theodore and Thelma Gibson Charter School, located at 1698 NW 4th Ave, Miami, FL 33136, in March. Givens allegedly sent a 10-year-old student a text message that read, “Always wanted to date you” and “oh wow I wanna see you bad.” The text was accompanied by a picture of Givens wearing only boxer briefs. Givens told police that he thought he was messaging the girl’s mother.
The second incident happened in 2019 when Givens was a St. Mary’s Cathedral School teacher located at 7485 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33150. According to the young victim, Givens repeatedly grabbed her wrist, hair, and breasts. Givens has been charged with battery and other related charges.
At the time of his arrest, Givens was employed by the Scheck Hillel Community School. Rabbi Ari Leubitz, the Head of School at Scheck Hillel, confirmed to Local 10 News that Givens was a first-year teacher and that the cases have no connection to the school.
The Archdiocese of Miami said they learned about Givens’ arrest on the case involving St. Mary’s Cathedral School after hiring him. They said Givens was fired after sending an inappropriate text to a student which was reported to law enforcement. It was not found to be criminal, which is why he wasn’t arrested back then.
Authorities believe there may be other victims, as Givens worked at several schools. Anyone with information is urged to call police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard specializes in representing victims of school sex abuse in the state of Florida. He has provided information regarding the process of filing a civil lawsuit in such cases. If you are a victim of school sexual abuse, you may be able to seek compensation for your suffering with the help of a qualified lawyer.
"As an experienced sexual abuse attorney, I am deeply troubled by the increasing prevalence of sexual predators infiltrating our schools, including private and charter. It should go without saying that the safety and security of our children in schools is paramount. Schools, both public and private, have a duty to ensure that the adults to whom they entrust with their students are not only qualified but also trustworthy.
Unfortunately, there have been far too many cases in which private and charter schools have failed to do their due diligence in adequately screening potential staff members, only to discover later that they had hired a dangerous sexual predator. When this happens, the victims and their families are left to suffer unthinkable consequences.
The victims of such deplorable acts are protected by a variety of state and federal laws, including Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination in educational institutions. Additionally, the victims and their families may have a civil claim for negligence against the school for failing to screen the perpetrator adequately or impose safety measures such as security monitoring cameras.
The legal rights of victims and their families must be protected if they are sexually abused by a teacher at a private or charter school. Victims and their families can learn more about their rights by speaking with an experienced sexual abuse attorney. This legal representative can offer compassionate guidance with full knowledge of laws pertaining to their unique situation."