Attorney says charter school did 'bare minimum' to screen accused pedophile

Parents of accused pedophile's alleged victims want accountability

By Ian Margol - Reporter

COOPER CITY, Fla. - Christopher Falzone quickly went from teacher to accused pedophile.

Last week, we showed you the allegations from students at Sheridan Hills Elementary that led to him being fired from the Broward School District in 2014. But somehow, just a year later, he was hired at Renaissance Charter School in Cooper City, which is sponsored by the Broward School District.

"There are going to be pedophiles who are going to lie in order to get access to kids," Attorney Jeff Herman said.

Herman is representing several students who are accusing Falzone of molesting them and he says only the bare minimum was done to screen Falzone.

"A safe background check is going to include verifying employment references and interviewing the employee etcetera, and if there are any gaps you need to find out why, and if you can’t, you don’t hire the person," Herman said. 

A spokesperson for Renaissance Charter School told us they could not comment directly on Falzone's case, but did say they run reference checks on all applicants and would not hire anyone who they found to have a questionable history.

Plus, because no charges were initially filed against Falzone when Renaissance Charter School sent his name to the Broward School District for a fingerprint and a security check through the FBI, no criminal history appeared. 

The district says that since that system is independent of their human resources department no red flags popped up. This cleared the way for Falzone to work with children again.

But Herman says that was only the first miss by the system. In fact, he says they had another chance in October of 2017 when a mother at the school found out about Falzone’s past. Herman says school administrators whiffed again and failed to investigate the allegations.

"The mom tells the principal the next day and at this point we are not saying 'Do the bare minimum,'" Herman said. "At this point, we are saying 'Act safely! You have to protect the kids!"

Local 10 News has reached out to the charter school for comment about the alleged inaction of the principal, but they said they can’t comment on pending litigation.
 

Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.