Advertisement

Broward middle school teacher accused of molesting student. She was arrested at school

A Broward County middle school teacher is accused of kissing a student — and having that same girl inappropriately touch her — while school was in session.

Felicia Sharonda Smith, 39, was arrested Wednesday after Hollywood police responded to Driftwood Middle School, 2751 N. 70th Terrace on a tip about inappropriate contact between the teacher and a student.

Smith admitted to detectives that she developed a “maternal relationship” with the student at the beginning of the year — and kissed the child on school grounds, according to police.

The student, whom police didn’t name as she is a minor, also told investigators that she was forced to inappropriately touch Smith.

Started with a mark on neck

The inappropriate behavior came to the attention of police after a mark — thought to be a hickey — was found on the girl’s neck, an arrest report says.

The girl’s uncle, her legal guardian, told investigators his niece initially said she was hit in the face with a football by a boy. But her uncle suspected that the mark was intentional, so he contacted the school to find out what happened — and why he wasn’t notified.

Upon meeting with administrators, he learned that his niece hadn’t gone to gym class for weeks, the report states. Instead, the girl had been hanging out with Smith, who had a planning period at the same time.

Smith, according to the report, told the girl’s uncle that she already had the mark when she had come to her classroom. At that point, he believed the hickey was caused by another student.

Told a different story at home

He took his niece home because he felt uncomfortable keeping her at the school, the report states. But when they arrived home, the girl began to cry and admitted that Smith had given her the hickey — and forced her to touch her inappropriately.

The girl told investigators that she had been skipping gym class to vent to Smith, whom she viewed as a mother figure, according to the report. She said she feared telling her uncle because she was scared Smith would lose her job.

The teacher, the girl said, touched her at least three times, even pulling her into a closet and kissing her, the report says. The girl said she knew that what Smith was doing was wrong, but she didn’t want to upset or disappoint the teacher.

When questioned, Smith denied kissing the girl, taking her into a closet and inappropriately touching her, according to police. She also stated that the hickey occurred after she kissed the girl’s cheek and told her that she loved her.

Smith is listed on the middle school’s website as a language arts teacher. She faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation and lewd and lascivious battery. She was being held at the North Broward Bureau as of Thursday afternoon, jail records show.

“The safety of our students is always our top priority. Broward County Public Schools is fully cooperating with the Hollywood Police Department in its investigation,” school district spokesperson Keyla Concepción said in a statement. “The teacher has been reassigned away from the school and students pending the outcome of the case.”