Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No charges for Gibbs High teacher over iffy behavior

Darren M. Snieszko’s friendships  weren’t sexual.

Darren M. Snieszko’s friendships weren’t sexual.

Prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against a Gibbs High School science teacher who resigned for having inappropriate relationships with students.

Darren M. Snieszko, 25, was arrested in April after St. Petersburg police said he took a 16-year-old girl to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. Though the girl's mother thought the visit was a field trip, police said it was more like a date.

Snieszko was arrested on a charge of interfering with child custody and suspended from his job. Police said then he might have had similar relationships with a half-dozen other girls.

School officials began an investigation that found Snieszko didn't have any sexual contact with the girls, but that he became too close to them by taking them to the movies, the zoo and Busch Gardens without informing their parents, said Valerie Brimm, a district administrator.

Brimm said one student said she and Snieszko kissed, though Snieszko told investigators that the student initiated it.

The school district was going to recommend that Snieszko be fired, but gave him the option of resigning. He quit July 1.

"He was very remorseful in saying that in hindsight he made some terrible decisions," Brimm said.

If Snieszko were to apply for a job in another district, school officials there would learn of the investigation if they did a background check that included contacting Pinellas schools or the state's Office of Professional Practices, Brimm said.

The police investigation began April 11 when a girl reported to school officials that something was going on between the teacher and some students. That same day, the girl he took to the zoo and her mother called police to file a criminal complaint.

The girl told police that they had engaged in some "romantic touching" but nothing sexual. She also said he sent her romantic messages through MySpace.com, cell phones and instant messaging.

Prosecutors will not pursue the criminal charge because the girl's mother wanted to put the incident behind them, said prosecutor Beverly Andringa.

Snieszko was hired by the district in July 2005. He had no prior complaints.

No charges for Gibbs High teacher over iffy behavior 07/25/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 25, 2008 10:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  3. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, acitvate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  4. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.