HOLLYWOOD – A man has filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Education, alleging that his estranged wife, a teacher at a charter school, was sexually involved with one of her students.
Wilson Rolle Jr., 27, of Hollywood, filed the complaint against Marcia Rolle, 25, an English teacher at Life Skills Center of Broward County.
Rolle says he planted a recording device in the couple’s bedroom that captured the sounds of his wife and the student having sex.
Marcia Rolle, the student and the school have denied the affair. She continues to teach at the school.
The man identified as Marcia Rolle’s student, Christopher Peterson, 19, could not be reached for comment. It is unclear if Peterson is still a student at the school.
Florida regulations prohibit teachers from having sexual relationships with students, regardless of their age. Such action, if proven, could result in the loss of state teaching certification.
Police in Hollywood, where the couple lived, investigated. But they filed no charges because the student was over the legal age of consent. Police also could not determine if the teacher and student ever had sexual relations.
The Broward School District also investigated, but found no wrongdoing.
An official with the Florida Department of Education would not confirm or deny whether the agency is investigating the complaint.
“Mr. Rolle has spoken with staff members in the Department’s Office of Professional Practices Services, where he received confirmation that his complaint was received,” said Kelsey Lehtomaa, deputy press secretary for the Florida Department of Education.
Citing Florida statutes that mandate confidentiality for pending complaints made against teachers, Lehtomaa would not provide any other details.
Marcia Rolle did not respond to emails sent or messages left on her cell phone about the allegations.
But in a May 14, 2009 email to her husband, she denied any involvement with the student.
“It's so funny how childish you really act. Your [sic] not even a real man, your still a kid. Stay away from my job because if you go to my job again you will be walking away in handcuffs. Just for the record, you think you know everything but, your [sic] so wrong, him and I are just friends and he's in college not high school,” Rolle states in the email, which her husband provided to the newspaper. “Your [sic] a very pathetic person and I feel really sorry for you, and just know that I'm keeping note of everything you do. Find something more meaningful to do with your time. Also tell your lame friends to do the same thing.”
Life Skills Center is a charter school at 2360 West Oakland Park Blvd. in Oakland Park. The school is privately owned and operated, but is funded by taxes from the Broward County School District.
The school would not release any information about Peterson, the student. Attempts to contact him through his Facebook page were unsuccessful.
The school’s principal, Derek Stein, declined comment, and referred all calls to White Hat Management, Inc., the school’s Ohio-based parent company, which operates charter schools in five states around the country.
The school’s website says it is a learning center for students who have faced tough obstacles to gaining a high school diploma, including poverty, addictions, teen pregnancy and family issues.
Through a public relations firm, the company’s spokesperson issued a prepared statement: “An unfounded allegation was made regarding a teacher and student at Life Skills Center Broward County. School administrators addressed the allegation appropriately through proper channels, informing the Broward County School District and Hollywood Police Department,” reads the statement released by Monica Jones, director for Marketing and Communications for White Hat Management on Wednesday, July 29.
“Both the school district and police department investigated the matter and found there was no relationship and that it was a completely unfounded allegation. Both investigations have been closed. We remain focused on the well-being of our students and would appreciate no further attention be paid to the unfortunate matter.”
Nonetheless, Wilson Rolle says, “I followed them and saw them together many times. One time, I surprised them when I came home at 12:30 in the morning and caught them together in our home. I asked him to leave and he refused. So I packed my things, and left and we have been separated since that time.”
That alleged encounter occurred on May 11, 2009, one day after Rolle says he planted an audio recording device in the bedroom of their Hollywood home. The device captured the sounds of a man and woman engaging in sexual activities, according to the police report.
Three days later, on May 14, Wilson Rolle filed a criminal complaint with Hollywood police alleging that his wife may have been sexually involved with a student, who he believed was an under-aged minor. He presented the audio compact disk (CD) recording as evidence.
“I saw them at the library together and saw her dropping him off at school on her day off, so I suspected something was going on, and I placed a digital recorder in our bedroom, and recorded them having sex,” Wilson Rolle says.
Hollywood police conducted a preliminary review, but did not open an investigation after it was determined that Peterson was a 19-year-old adult, not an under-aged minor.
“Due to the fact the male is an adult, possibly engaging in sexual activity with another adult, no crime has been committed and no investigation will be initiated,” Hollywood police Det. Nancie Toler wrote in a close-out memo on May 28.
Toler also determined that while the audio recording Rolle provided does appear to be of a man and woman having sex, she could not identify who the parties are.
The Broward School District’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) closed its investigation on June 5 after taking statements from both Marcia Rolle and Peterson, who both denied having any relationship, engaging in sex, or having any contact outside of the classroom, according to a June 5 school district memo.
Marcia Rolle told school district investigators that Wilson Rolle had been acting irrationally due to her stated intention to divorce him, and that she was in the process of obtaining a restraining order. Based on their statements, the school district closed its investigation and turned the matter over to the charter school.
“Because both parties involved deny these allegations and due to the nature of Mr. Rolle’s behavior, this case should be classified closed with no further investigation by SIU,” investigator Gary Rowe wrote in his closeout memo.
Wilson Rolle vows to continue to have the issue thoroughly investigated, and says his wife’s text and email messages could shed light on what he says has really been taking place.
“They want to cover it up, and that’s why they have not asked for her the emails and text messages, but it is all going to come out,” he said. “I’m looking to hire an attorney right now, to go into court and get my wife’s and Peterson’s emails and text messages. This won’t be covered up and they will be embarrassed.”
Pictured above are Wilson and Marcia Rolle.