Two Florida teachers were penalized including one who was fired after being suspected of having sex in a classroom in early May. A school district investigative report confirmed that there was such an allegation against the teachers.
The teachers are identified as Justin Pinto and Samantha Wilhide from Heights Elementary School in Fort Myers, Florida. Pinto was fired while Wilhide was reassigned to the School District of Lee County’s administrative office.
The report also said that other female colleagues shared that Pinto made inappropriate comments and or sexual advances toward them during the 2017-18 school year.
Pinto was only in his first year as teacher in the school district and was on probationary status when he was dismissed. Wilhide, on the other hand, has been a district employee for four years. As such she is entitled to a hearing related to the allegations against her, while Pinto can be excused at any time for any reason while being a contract employee on probationary.
A co-teacher wrote in a May 2 letter that she became suspicious of what the two were doing in a classroom with the lights off. Two days after that, the principal, Doug Palow, watched on video as the pair walked down a school hallway before going to their separate classrooms.
The video showed that Wilhide left her classroom at 6:42 a.m. and walked to Pinto’s room. The principal then decided to investigate further. When he reached Pinto’s classroom, however, he discovered that it was locked, and the lights were out. He used another key to unlock it and that’s when he saw the two teachers were in various states of undress.
Pinto at that time wasn’t wearing a shirt, and he was pulling up his pants while Wilhide was undressed except for having her bra on and was sitting on the table. Palow told them to put on their clothes and meet him at the principal’s office.
Palow said that he even explained to Wilhide the severity of the situation and that she could even lose her teacher’s certificate because of what happened. Wilhide, on the other hand, even told the assistant principal, that she did not understand why she’s getting into trouble when “she was doing it on her own time and not being paid.”
She said the time they were caught by the principal himself was the first time they did it but a review of the school security video found that Pinto and Wilhide met in the guy’s classroom a number of times before their classes started at 6:45 a.m.