MIAMI – The Miami-Dade school district faces a lawsuit over allegations officials did nothing to stop a male teacher from sexually abusing numerous female students throughout his 14 years in the district.
The lawsuit alleges Jason Edward Meyers, a 41-year-old creative writing teacher, was first accused of inappropriate relationships with his female students at Krop High School in 2005, and again in 2008, before school officials transferred him to Palmetto Senior High School in 2011, the Miami Herald reports.
Once at Palmetto, Meyers allegedly continued his antics with the teens, which included encouraging them to read sexually charged materials, buying them revealing clothing to wear to class, and eventually kissing, groping, and sex with the underage students inside his classroom.
According to the Herald:
In total, the suit says, Meyers pursued sexually charged relationships with eight of his current or former students at the two schools during his 14 years as a Miami-Dade teacher. He groomed his creative writing students, encouraged them to write sexually explicit content and singled them out to such a public degree, the suit says, that they were known as “Jason’s Girls.”
Among the allegations in the lawsuit, filed this week on behalf of one student who said she was victimized: Meyers told one student to study sexually explicit novels like “Lolita” and emphasized passages about an older man seducing a young girl. The suit describes him giving another student provocative clothes to wear to his class, demanding she break up with her boyfriend and telling her to title a poem she had written, “Come Inside Me.”
The lawsuit alleges Meyers also forcibly kissed and groped the complainant and engaged in sex with other students inside his classroom at Palmetto.
Meyers is currently facing criminal charges for sexual battery of a minor after his arrest in February 2016. He was fired by the district after his arrest, WFLA reports.
The lawsuit, meanwhile, focuses mostly on how district officials ignored the obvious signs of abuse and did nothing to stop his behavior.
“As alleged, the School Board know that Mr. Meyers posed a serious risk of sexual abuse against our community’s children. Yet it did virtually nothing to stop him,” Mark Schweikert, one of two attorneys who filed the lawsuit, told the Herald. “Instead, the School Board merely relocated the risk posed by his predatory behavior from one school to another.”
The lawsuit alleges the principal of Krop High was first alerted to Meyers’ disturbing behavior when a school police officer reported that he witnessed Meyer getting “very personal” and “intimate” with a female student in the school hallway in the 2004-05 school year.
Three years later, in 2008, the principal received an email from another person that alleged Meyers was having sex with current and former students.
Apparently, nothing came of the reports until Meyers was transferred to Palmetto in 2011 and allegedly continued to seduce female students in his classes.
Palmetto officials “received reports of suspected continued predation and inappropriate conduct with students” that included lots of alone time with “Jason’s girls” in his locked classroom, the lawsuit alleges.
“There was also a fight between Meyers and his wife, also a Palmetto High teacher, that allegedly happened on school grounds during the 2015-16 school year,” the Herald reports. “Meyers’ wife confronted Meyers about his relationship with at least one female student, the suit says.”
The lawsuit contends district officials “failed to properly and adequately report, investigate, redress and otherwise respond to its notice that Meyers posed a serious danger of sexual abuse and exploitation to female students,” which meant “he continued to have unfettered access to female students,” WFLA reports.
Miami-Dade spokesman John Schuster refused to discuss the case with the Herald because the school board’s attorney has reportedly not reviewed the lawsuit. Marcos Beaton Jr., Meyers’ attorney, also declined to comment.