Miami-Dade school board could have prevented teachers from preying on students, attorney says

Student wins $49.3 million judgment against former geometry teacher

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – A Miami jury awarded more than $49 million this week to a former Miami-Dade County public school student whose teacher admitted to having sex with her in his classroom.  

The case is closed, but the district is facing other very similar cases.

Bresnneil Jansen, who has been fired from his job as a geometry teacher and is now a registered sex offender, was hit with a $49.3 million civil penalty for having sex with a 17-year-old student in his South Dade Senior High School classroom. 

"Could the school board have prevented this from happening? The answer is yes," attorney John Leighton said.  

The student previously got a settlement from the Miami-Dade County Public School District after her attorney found records indicating Jansen had prior inappropriate relationships with other students that the district knew about.

"When you have a teacher that has already shown a propensity for acting inappropriate with a student, you get them out of the classroom or take other safety measures," Leighton said.  

Another case brings up many of the same questions. What did the district know and when did it know it?

Miami Palmetto High School teacher Jason Meyers is awaiting trial on similar accusations.
In a recorded mediation session, Meyers denied having sex with a student.

"You've been accused of inappropriately kissing, grabbing the butt and the breasts of another girl?" Meyers was asked. 

"No, absolutely not," Meyers said. 

Another student sued the school board after Meyers's arrest, claiming that the district has ignored reports about him for more than a decade. 

"I'm surprised they haven't seemed to have learned their lesson," Leighton said. "What do they need, a road map?"

The school district declined to comment on the cases.

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