SPRING HILL — An automotive instructor who was removed from Nature Coast Technical High School earlier this month after inappropriately touching an adult education student has returned to the classroom, according to the Hernando County School District.
Investigative documents released last week show that Kevin Moglia, 61, resumed teaching high school students on Dec. 15, but he will no longer teach for SunTech, the district's evening adult education program. The decision was made by Superintendent Lori Romano. In a letter to Moglia, she told him the incident will be reported to the Florida Department of Education.
"Regardless of the circumstances that may have brought them about, such inappropriate actions on your part do not reflect positively on your position," the superintendent wrote. "You are directed to refrain from engaging in the same or similar conduct in the future. Failure to do so will result in further disciplinary actions, which may include a recommendation for your termination."
In a Nov. 17 interview with Matthew Goldrick, district supervisor of professional standards, Moglia admitted to giving a 19-year-old male student a "motivational tap" on the buttocks on Nov. 6. He was removed from the classroom by Nature Coast principal Toni-Ann Noyes the following day, after the student reported the incident. Moglia was arrested by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office Nov. 30, after deputies reviewed classroom surveillance footage that confirmed the student's claims.
Court records show Moglia, who has taught at the school since March 2006 and has no criminal history in Florida, faces a charge of misdemeanor battery. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 1 at 9 a.m.
"I was working with a student who has motivational issues. He is slow, and I constantly have to keep him motivated to continue what he is doing," Moglia told district officials, according to minutes of an interview. "I went to give him a motivational tap and unfortunately it ended up being on his butt."
The minutes said the teacher acknowledged "it was not the right thing to do, there was not inappropriate thought, and (he) was just trying to get (the student) moving." When asked whether the student ever stopped working, Moglia said no.
According to district spokesperson Karen Jordan, Moglia was suspended with pay from Dec. 12 through Dec. 14. On those days, he worked at the district office "doing different office tasks," she said. From Nov. 7, the day Moglia was removed from the school, until he came back on Dec. 15, Jordan said students used "PowerPoints, tests, etc. to guide their learning."
The district has not yet released the name of Moglia's replacement for the adult education classes.
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Contact Megan Reeves at email@example.com. Follow @mareevs.