M. (lickety_split) wrote in ontd_political,

DCF investigates more cases involving teacher accused of kicking student

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Agents from the Department of Children and Families are meeting with Miami-Dade School investigators to discuss more potential victims, after police arrested a teacher last week for allegedly kicking a student in his class.

The accused teacher, 56-year-old Jean Dorvil, claims he is innocent, but now there may be new claims dating as far back as 2002. Dorvil was a teacher with the Head Start program operated out of Charles Drew Elementary School.

On Wednesday, DCF held a press conference to announce the joint investigation. Though Dorvil was arrested last week, DCF Regional Director Jacqui Colyer explained her department's delay in announcing the investigation as they worked to clarify conflicting reports. "At that time, the investigation had just started," she said. "We were trying to get some clarification about the exact charge and the extent of the allegations, and so we didn't come forward because we didn't really have anything to tell [the media]."

Miami-Dade Schools Police arrested him last Friday after a 5-year-old girl said he kicked her in the face. According to authorities, the incident happened on April 16. Authorities said three children, including the 5-year-old, came forward and said that their teacher, Dorvil, kicked them.

The 5-year-old said she was kicked in the mouth, which caused swelling to that area. Police said she has also suffered mentally from the ordeal. As he was lead away in handcuffs Dorvil said, "I'm innocent, I didn't kick that child."

On Wednesday, Flora Beal spoke on behalf of DCF and why they want to investigate Dorvil further. "We've got to look at everybody now to ensure that there aren't additional people out there that have been hurt by this individual," she said. "There's always a possibility that once you have more than one victim, there's going to be more that come forward."

The spokeswoman said that in 2002, Dorvil failed to report in a timely manner an injury to a student that left that student with a bloody mouth. An abuse telephone hotline was never called. "There seems to be some history in this individual's files, and it's concerning to us because that means, who knows if that wasn't reported, who knows how many incidents weren't reported, so certainly we've been concerned from the on-set of this. However, we have to make our judgements from the evidence we have at hand."

Dorvil insists he did not do anything wrong to the child that first accused him of kicking her. "No, sir, I did not kick the child," he repeated.

After police interviewed the young girl, police said they believe more victims may be out there. When asked if he knew that two other children have already come forward, he said, "No. I am innocent. I did not do anything."

The question still remains that if in 2002 Dorvil did not report that injury, why was he still employed by Head Start? We are told he has been employed by the County for about 25 years. Julie Edwards, an administrator who oversees Head Start released this statement: "This has forced us to look further into our program operations. We will beef up our training, our supervision of staff and children."



This is horrible, but I hope that the authorities go about interviewing the children the right way so that justice is served. I'd hate to hear later on that the police incorrectly interrogated the kids into giving them answers the children thought they were supposed to give and this man gets off scott-free (if he is, indeed, guilty). Getting credible testimony from children for criminal cases is very difficult, especially when they're young.

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