BOCA RATON, Fla. – A Boca Raton teacher was fired this week after the school district found that he had “inappropriate interactions” with students.
Multiple students came forward with the disturbing allegations against 49-year-old Victor Lopez, who was a math teacher at Boca Raton Community Middle School.
At least 16 complaints had been filed against him even though he had only been on the job for just a year.
Reports state that he hit students with rulers, threw objects at them, and even placed some students in chokeholds.
In February, Lopez was suspended after a video surfaced of him “playfully” hitting a student with a yardstick in October 2021 while he worked at another school, according to documents.
He served his time and returned to school, where students say he called them mean-spirited nick names such as “Beavis,” “Four-eyes,” and “Oompa Loompa.”
“I don’t think any child should ever be touched, even in a joking manner,” one parent, Lori Kaniuk, told WPTV. “It definitely crosses the line. It could hurt a child.”
“A child probably doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up and it puts them in a position where they have to go against the teacher, and that could affect their grades and success going forward,” Kaniuk added.
In an email to Palm Beach County Schools, Lopez described his behavior as “sarcasm” and said he was “trying to have fun” with the students while “promoting a learning environment.”
Lopez has since been placed on unpaid leave.
His termination will go into effect starting Oct. 18, unless he decides to appeal.
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