ORLANDO, Fla. —Officials from Orange County Public Schools, the Department of Children and Families and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office knew of Jennifer Fichter’s alleged misconduct, but state education officials were not notified, allowing Fichter to teach in Polk County.
Fichter was arrested last week after she admitted to a sexual relationship with a child in Polk County. Fichter allegedly admitted that she became pregnant with the child’s baby, but had an abortion, officials said. She was arrested at her home and charged with six counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor. Fichter is an English teacher at Central Florida Aerospace Academy.
Prior to her alleged romance with the Polk County student, Fichter taught language arts at Robinswood Middle School in Orange County from August 2007 until Dec. 19, 2008. Orange County Public School officials started investigating Fichter after a teacher filed a complaint accusing her of discussing her feelings for an eighth-grade male student and texting the student.
According to a Sheriff’s Office report, deputies interviewed the eighth-grade student who said Fichter had texted the student about her feelings about 40-50 times. School officials notified DCF officials, according to the Sheriff’s Office report.
Fitcher reportedly told that teacher “she felt as though the student was her boyfriend and that he made her melt.”
According to the report, both the teacher who filed the complaint and the eighth-grade boy told school investigators Fichter “texted a student a message that said that she ‘was going to smash’ the student,” and that “Fichter had asked a student if he wanted to be her baby.”
Public Schools Spokeswoman Kathy Marsh said Monday that the county “did not report the case regarding Fichter to the state Department of Education.”
Since the county did not inform state officials, Fichter was able to get a teaching job in Polk County, Florida Department of Education officials said last week.
Following the allegations made against Fichter, public school officials in Orange County told all employees that “No employee of the Orange County Public Schools should engage in any texting or other social media with any OCPS student,” unless the student is the employee’s child or the information is related to a class, athletic or extracurricular activity, Marsh said.
Polk County school officials said last week that they expect Fichter to be fired this week.