After facing harassment from her teacher over the possibility of being gay, a fifth grade North Port K-8 School student was removed from the St. Lucie County School District. The student, 11-year-old daughter of Jezenia Gambino (featured in photo above), will complete the remainder of her academic year in homeschooling.
Gossip spreading around the school involving Gambino’s daughter prompted the unsolicited confrontation. “The rumor was that my daughter and another 5th-grade little girl were dating,” Gambino told WPTV.
Once the teacher heard of the rumor, she questioned the nature of the girls’ relationship in front of all their classmates.
Gambino, who decided to transfer her daughter to homeschooling after the incident, is furious over the teacher’s misconduct. From what she heard from her daughter, the teacher allegedly addressed the class with a “tone of anger” and said her daughter was “in trouble” because of what the teacher had heard about her, Gambino told Insider.
The other fifth-grade girl involved in the rumor is also reluctant to remain friends with Gambino’s daughter because of what happened. In the text message that notified them of the incident, the girl expressed “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 Gambino reached out to North Port K-8’s principal, the school launched an investigation examining the teacher’s actions. While they found the teacher engaged in “inappropriate communication,” the teacher was only administered a verbal warning.
According to WPTV, the St. Lucie County School District in which North Port K-8 belongs, has a no-tolerance policy on sexual harassment or any other form of illegal harassment.
North Port K-8 also informed Gambino via email that the teacher was reported to the Florida Department of Education. But to Gambino, none of the actions the school has taken to control the situation have been enough.
“She needs to be fired,” Gambino told Insider of the teacher who openly questioned her daughter’s sexuality. “The school isn’t setting a good example for their students. The teacher’s actions were unacceptable.”
Gambino also told Insider, “If the rumor had been about my daughter dating a little boy, I do not think the question would have been asked.”
Watch below for WPTV‘s report on the student bullied by teacher for rumors about her sexuality.