Florida teacher to appeal firing over inappropriate touching claims

Krishna Boodhoo, 63, lost his job at Riverland Elementary in Fort Lauderdale after the school board approved his termination last month

Krishna Boodhoo, 63, lost his job at Riverland Elementary in Fort Lauderdale after the school board approved his termination last month

Krishna Boodhoo, 63, lost his job at Riverland Elementary in Fort Lauderdale after the school board approved his termination last month

A Florida elementary teacher has been fired for allegedly inappropriately touching seven female students despite prosecutors not bringing charges against him because they say there are too many inconsistencies in the children’s statements. 

Krishna Boodhoo, 63, lost his job at Riverland Elementary in Fort Lauderdale after the school board approved his termination last month.  

The State Attorney’s Office had decided in October last year not to prosecute Boodhoo, a fifth grade science teacher, because they believed a conviction was unlikely. 

An investigative report that was presented to the school board recommending that Boodhoo be terminated did not mention that prosecutors were not seeking criminal charges, the Sun-Sentinel reports. 

Boodhoo, who denies the allegations, is now appealing his firing. 

The allegations against Boodhoo, who had worked for the district for 13 years, first surfaced in February last year after a mother reported that the teacher had touched her daughter’s breasts in December 2019.

Police reports state that the mother had questioned her daughter after noticing bruising on her.

The girl told her mother that Boodhoo had allegedly grabbed her by the arm. She told the principal that Boodhoo had allegedly reached into her jacket and touched her breast, according to police reports.

A memo from the State Attorney’s Office said the girl later said during a separate interview that Boodhoo didn’t touch her breast.

She allegedly said that she had her arms inside her jacket because she was cold and that Boodhoo reached inside but never touched her.

The State Attorney's Office had decided in October last year not to prosecute Boodhoo, a fifth grade science teacher, because they believed a conviction was unlikely

The State Attorney's Office had decided in October last year not to prosecute Boodhoo, a fifth grade science teacher, because they believed a conviction was unlikely

The State Attorney’s Office had decided in October last year not to prosecute Boodhoo, a fifth grade science teacher, because they believed a conviction was unlikely

When investigators asked during that interview if Boodhoo had ever done anything inappropriate or made her feel uncomfortable, the girl said no.

The girl told police several of her friends were also alleged victims of Boodhoo. 

Officers interviewed the other alleged victims, including one who said Boodhoo brushed her breast as she held in iPad in front of her and another who claimed the teacher put his ‘private part’ on her elbow when she was at her desk.

Those allegations were included in the report giving to the school board.

The memo from the attorney’s office, however, noted there were some inconsistencies from the other alleged victims, including one who initially said Boodhoo touched her buttocks and in another interview said he touched her thigh.

Following an investigation, assistant state attorney Lauren Covitz said she was declining the case because ‘there is not a reasonable likelihood of conviction’.

‘This is heavily due to the numerous conflicts between what the subject is alleged to have done and what the witnesses have slated,’ she said.

Sarah Leonardi, who is one of the school board members, said she was never told that prosecutors weren’t considering charges. She believes they should have had that information prior to voting on whether to terminate Boodhoo. 

Leonardi said, however, that there could have been reasons for the inconsistencies, including trauma and potential language barriers.   

‘Either way it’s a tragedy,’ she said. 

‘It’s a tragedy if someone is fired after being falsely accused, because that can ruin their life. And it’s a tragedy if they were molested.’ 

Link hienalouca.com

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