Imagine Charter School Belonging to Rick Scott Crony Sued for Ignoring Abuse


Imagine Charter Schools CEO Dennis Bakke was on Rick Scott’s education transition team. Trouble within Bakke’s empire are well documented in Scathing Purple Musings. But revelations that an official at West Melbourne school did not report concerns about abuse could sink Imagine in Florida and further embarrass Scott. MacKenzie Ryan reports in FloridaToday:

The lawsuit alleges that, around September 2011, another student witnessed inappropriate behavior by (Irene) Khan and reported it to the school. Also around that time, the lawsuit says, a teacher reported suspicions of Khan abusing the teen to then-Principal Shannon Gerbi.

“Although she conducted a brief informal investigation, Gerbi failed to report the allegations to the Department of Children and Families and/or failed to notify (the teen’s) parents, record or document the teacher’s allegations and/or failed to take any other corrective actions,” it says.

Gerbi is now the director of curriculum at the school.

Khan was fired from the charter school in January 2012, but the lawsuit claims Khan continued to abuse the teen because of the school’s failure to report the abuse. I

Florida law requires anyone to report known or suspected sexual abuse of children.

Certain professionals, such as physicians, nurses and school teachers, are required to provide their names to the abuse hotline.

Talk about a no-no. There isn’t an employee at any of Florida’s public schools who aren’t aware of the obligation. Why would it be ignored at Imagine?  It speaks to the culture which drives many charter schools. Its not about the kids. It’s about keeping that FTE count and the money flowing in.

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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One Response to Imagine Charter School Belonging to Rick Scott Crony Sued for Ignoring Abuse

  1. sue hoyt says:

    I am a teacher in a Brevard County public school. We routinely receive students from Imagine Charter in West Melbourne. They are ALWAYS below grade level when placed in the same grade they were in at Imagine yet their report cards show A’s and B’s. Go figure.

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