MIAMI – A schoolteacher in South Florida claims she was fired after doing the right thing, revealing one of her students had been sexually abused by her stepfather.
According to the NBC affiliate in Miami, Diana Castella was a part-time instructor for the I-Prep program in Miami-Dade County, where officials now say she was let go for a lack of funding.
“I’m disgusted as a teacher. I’m disgusted with the system,” Castella told NBC 6. “They should be embracing me, and they’re not. They fired me.”
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Castella said a girl under 12 years old informed her that her stepfather lies on top of her.
Unsure of the protocol, she asked another teacher how to handle the situation, and the morning after the child confided in her, she reported it to the school counselor.
“The Department of Childhood Services without me in the room then questioned the girl,” Castella told the station.
Authorities then had Castella join the conversatiom, and the young girl confessed to being molested multiple times.
That led to the arrest of the girl’s stepfather on charges of lewd and lascivious conduct and child molestation.
“On Thursday when I went back to school, the principal called me into her office and told me that I’m under investigation because I didn’t report it in a timely manner,” Castella said.
A Miami-Dade County Schools spokesperson told WCIX, “The minute someone in the District learns of a potential abuse case, they are required to report it immediately.”
However, the teacher says she was given a different reason for her ouster.
“In that same sentence she said ‘but I don’t have any more money for your position,” Castella said.
Castella thinks the the real reason she was let go was not a monetary one.
“Administrators and Miami-Dade County Public Schools [don’t] like snitchers. They like everything to be brushed under the rug,” Castella said. “I became a teacher for my students. I didn’t become a teacher to save the reputation of a school.”
The school district is the fourth largest in the U.S., comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students and more than 40,000 employees.