Two Boca Raton teachers barred from classroom for a year

Teachers fired

Two Boca Raton teachers have been barred from working in Florida classrooms for at least one year.

One teacher is accused of allowing students to cheat on a test, while the other is alleged to have made inappropriate comments to students.

The state’s Education Practices Commission recently suspended the licenses of Gabriel De Simone, a science teacher at Boca Raton Middle, for questionable comments he made, and Lisha Daigle, a kindergarten teacher at Hammock Pointe Elementary, regarding testing and class supervision issues..

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In De Simone’s case, some seventh grade girls accused De Simone in January 2015 of saying, “I’ll give you a nickel to tickle my pickle,” according to a state report.

De Simone denied making the exact comment. He told his principal, Peter Slack, that the students were engaged in tongue twisters and he said, “Lick a pickle for a nickel,” a state report says. He said he didn’t use the word “my” and a there was no intent to have the phrases construed in a negative way.

Slack gave De Simone a verbal reprimand.

While there’s no indication the district conducted a formal investigation, the state reviewed the case and De Simone’s history. A state report says he was also counseled by Slack in October 2012 “regarding complaints from female students that he stared at girls’ buttocks and chest area and engaged in inappropriate conversations with them.”

After reviewing his file, the state commission decided to revoke his license for a year. De Simone resigned from the school district in October 2015 in the midst of the state investigation.

In Daigle’s case, she received a reprimand in January 2015 for allegedly giving students the answers to a test. But the state decided recently to suspend her license for a year.

Daigle assessed her kindergarten students in the spring of 2014. Ten out of the 13 students got much lower scores when they were assessed again in the fall, which the district called “beyond a statistical anomoly,” according to a district reprimand.