A teacher in Port St. Lucie, Florida, confronted a fifth-grade student about being the subject of lesbian rumors in front of the young girl’s class.
The mother of the student, Jezenia Gambino, told local NBC News affiliate WPTV the incident occurred after rumors about her daughter and another female student began to circulate.
“The rumor was that my daughter and another 5th-grade little girl were dating,” said Gambino.
When the rumor reached the 11-year-old’s teacher, the instructor decided to question the girl about it – in front of her classmates.
“She asked them if they were together if they were dating as a couple together and she asked them in a way that they felt they were in trouble,” said Gambino.
Gambino says her daughter didn’t tell her about the confrontation until the young girl’s friend texted her saying perhaps they shouldn’t be friends.
“She wasn’t sure if they should hang out together anymore because of what happened in school,” Gambino told WPTV. “She didn’t want anyone to think they were gay.”
After the mother reported the incident to the school’s principal an investigation was opened.
A week later Gambino received an email explaining the teacher “reported to the Florida Department of Education for engaging in inappropriate communication with her daughter.”
The result? The teacher was given a verbal warning.
In a statement to the press regarding the incident, the school district said, “School Board will not tolerate sexual harassment or any other form of illegal harassment by any of its employees, students, volunteers or agents.”
But Gambino isn’t satisfied with that result saying, “What they did affected my daughter in a way that now I’m having to go back and fix.”
Gambino has now removed her daughter from the school and is currently homeschooling her for the rest of the school year.