Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Legislature okays tougher penalties for teachers who seduce students

These days, the story is about Polk County's Jennifer Fichter. But perhaps the most notorious name among Florida teachers arrested for having sex with a student belongs to Hillsborough County's Debra Lafave.

Four students from Hillsborough's Armwood High School asked Florida lawmakers to increase the penalties for school workers who take advantage of the youths in their schools.

On Wednesday, the Legislature obliged, with the Senate unanimously approving the Stop Harassing Underage Teens Act. The bill, which already passed the House, would reclassify the level of sexual offenses "committed by an authority figure of a school against a student of the school." For instance, a first-degree felony would be reclassified to a life felony.

Students told First Coast News their goal is to keep kids safe.

"It's an amazing feeling because we as students obviously see that there's a problem. And if we see there's a problem as students in a public school, you know it must mean something that we're trying to get this done," said Elyse Chinowth, one of the Armwood students.

The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Scott.

Legislature okays tougher penalties for teachers who seduce students 04/30/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 11:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump controversies continue to take toll on Mar-a-Lago

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club continues to lose business in light of his controversial remarks on race and violence.

  2. Taylor Swift ends intrigue, announces new album in November

    Blogs

    Yes, Taylor Swift fans, Wednesday was a lucky one for you.

    This cover image released by Big Machine shows art for her upcoming album, "reputation," expected Nov. 10.
  3. Taking heat from some for Charlottesville remarks, Rubio denounces the 'other side'

    Blogs

    Sen. Marco Rubio, who has come under fire for not denouncing the “Antifa,” did so in a speech last night in Florida, bemoaning people “on the other side of the political spectrum who …

    Marco Rubio on the campaign trail in 2015
  4. How to make a Strawberry Banana Smoothie

    Cooking

    Don't enjoy breakfast but need to get something in your stomach? Cranky around 3 p.m. and need a jolt of energy? Have trouble getting your daily recommended fruit servings? This smoothie is the cure for all of that and more. It's become my morning go-to. The secret ingredient here is kefir, a probiotic product that's …

    Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.