Teacher in sex case resigned after texting Orange County middle-schooler, officials say
Updated On: Apr 18 2014 06:09:04 PM EDT
A Lakeland teacher accused this week of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student was sending inappropriate text messages to an eighth-grade student while she was teaching at an Orange County middle school in 2008, according to a report.
According to Orange County Public Schools records, Jennifer Fichter was texting one of her eighth-grade male students at Robinswood Middle School in Orlando and told other teachers she felt he was her "boyfriend."
Fichter, 29, who was an English teacher at the Polk County Central Florida Aerospace Academy, was charged on Monday with six counts unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Polk County. She was arrested in Hillsborough County on Tuesday on an additional three counts.
Police said on Monday Fichter told the 17-year-old student's mother she had sex with him 20 to 30 times, got pregnant at one point and had an abortion. She also professed her love for him and said she does not regret her actions, police said.
Fichter was employed at Robinswood Middle School in Orlando from August 2007 to December 2008. She resigned during the internal investigation in 2008, according to the report.
While teaching there, school officials said Fichter told the student that he made her "melt" and had an inappropriate dream about the student, according to the report.
In one of the text messages with the student, she told the student she was "going to smash" him, meaning have sexual intercourse, officials said.
Fichter told school officials that it didn't state that she could not text message students and didn't know it was inappropriate. Fichter also said she had feelings for all of her students and cared about them.
According to the report, Fichter believed the girlfriend of one of the male students she was text messaging started the issue. The student whose girlfriend Fichter was referring to said he didn't believe his girlfriend started the rumor and said Fichter didn't like his girlfriend.
The investigation into Fichter at Robinswood was not complete and the State Department of Education said OCPS was legally obligated to notify them of the investigation.
If the state was aware of the investigation, Fichter could have lost her teaching license statewide. School officials who were responsible for not reporting the findings could lose up to a year of pay, according to the state law.
OCPS says it reported the allegations to the Department of Children and Families and Orange County Sheriff's Office.
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