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Ex-teacher banned from teaching due to inappropriate actions

July 9, 2021 GMT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A teacher who resigned after high school students accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior will no longer be allowed to teach in Florida.

Daniel Buck, 38, taught technology at Western High School in Davie before resigning during school district and police investigations in 2018, the South Florida SunSentinel reported.

He was accused of telling students, “Your legs are thick in all the right places” and “You know, I’ve always liked the idea of a taboo student-teacher relationship,” the newspaper reported.

Buck’s educator’s license expired in December, and the state Education Practices Commission decided last month to permanently ban him from renewing it or reapplying.

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Buck didn’t respond to the newspaper’s attempts to reach him.

The school district learned of the allegations in October 2017 after a former student told another Western High teacher about Buck’s comments to her the year before when she was a senior. The case was turned over to Davie police.

She told police that Buck seemed laid-back and fun at the beginning of that year, and told dirty jokes to “get students to feel comfortable talking to him and sharing any issues they had,” according to a police report.

But after a breakup, when she was feeling insecure, she told investigators that Buck started flirting with her and making sexually inappropriate comments.

Davie police talked to another student who told them that during 2015-16 school year, when she was about 15, the teacher made inappropriate comments to her, their relationship escalated, and they had sex in a classroom closet, the newspaper reported. Buck denied those claims, according to reports from Davie police and the state attorney’s office.

Buck told investigators he was helping the teen through some mental health issues, and even did a suicide intervention for her, but she eventually became toxic in class and tried to get other students “to gang up on him,” the report said.

Investigators concluded that Buck made inappropriate comments, but they didn’t have enough evidence to prove he committed sexual abuse, so he wasn’t charged.

“This case is basically the word of the teacher versus the word of the student,” Assistant State Attorney Dennis Nicewander wrote on Nov. 30, 2018, noting the delay in reporting the offense and lack of evidence. “The sexually inappropriate comments by the teacher and his other flirtatious activity tend to support the victim’s version of events, but this evidence is most likely not admissible in court.”