FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Rafael Guzman, a teacher at Piper High School in Sunrise, has been arrested after alleged sexual misconduct with a student.
There was a swift response from students and those with relatives at the school.
Patricia Lampley, who has three children at Piper High School, told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "He needs to be where he is because he was wrong and he is supposed to teach children not hurt them. One of my children came to me crying because she knows him and knows her and she says that girl is now afraid to return to school. I hugged my own baby and said don't worry he is in jail."
Essie Willis, whose grandson attends Piper High School, said, "I feel terrible because a teacher should not be doing that. She is a child. We put kids in school so teachers can do the right things for them."
Kisha Willis, whose nephew attends Piper High Schoo said, "That's why we have trust and faith in our teachers that they will act in our kids' best interest."
Eleventh grader Maison Yang, who said she is in Guzman's Health science class, told CBS4, "I was so shocked. I can't believe it. It hurts me to hear this. He was honestly a cool teacher and down to earth and easy to talk to and stuff and really nice. It upsets me that this happened."
Eleventh grader Nicolas Brodie says he was in Guzman's class in ninth grade.
"This is upsetting to me that a grown man with a wife can touch a 17-year-old," he said.
Eleventh grader Kathryn August said, "This is a real concern because you wonder if this can happen to you. And it makes you kind of scared."
Guzman, 37, has been charged with an authority figure soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct with a student.
According to a 17-year-old student, Guzman asked her to stay after class on January 27th. When all of the other students left, Guzman reportedly told her to turn off the lights in the room, and then they both went to his office in the classroom.
There Guzman inappropriately touched her and performed a sex act, according to his arrest report.
The student told Sunrise police investigators he then gave her $100 and told her "not to feel bad," according to Guzman's arrest report.
According to Sunrise police, during questioning Guzman admitted to kissing and touching the girl, along with the sex act. After learning that he was being arrested, Guzman said he did not want to speak anymore without an attorney.
Guzman has been teaching in the school district since August 2018.
Guzman's bond was set at $50,000. He will have to wear a GPS monitor when he gets out of jail and was ordered to have no contact with the victim or minors and not go near the school.
A spokeswoman for Broward Public Schools says in cases like this, teachers or employees facing such charges are typically transferred to an office where there are no students pending the investigation.
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