Mothers describe emotional torment after alleged abuse at Brownsville Middle School

Lawsuits claim school district knew of complaints against Wendell Nibbs

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor, Liane Morejon - Reporter

MIAMI - The mothers of two girls who were allegedly sexually abused by a former Brownsville Middle School teacher said Monday that their daughters have been emotionally scarred by what happened.

They described how Wendell Nibbs abused their children, referred to as Jane Doe and Jan Doe to protect their identities.

"It's affected her dating," one mother said during a news conference held outside the Miami-Dade County school board administration building. "She don't socialize like she used to, all because of this person."

Nibbs was arrested on two counts of sexual battery on a child 12 years or older in November 2017. He had been working as a physical education teacher at Brownsville Middle School, where the alleged victims were students.

"If I would have known that this was occurring in the school, I would not even put my daughter or neither one of my children inside that school," another mother said.

Police said at least one of the allegations involved sex inside a classroom at the school, as well as inappropriate contact, lewd comments, kissing and graphic photographs sent by Nibbs.

The family of Jane Doe has already filed a lawsuit against the school district, alleging administrators knew about the complaints against Nibbs but did nothing about it. A lawsuit on behalf of Jan Doe will be filed later this month.

The mothers of two girls who were allegedly sexually abused at Brownsville Middle School asked not to be identified to protect their daughters.

Pedro Echarte, an attorney representing one of the mothers, said the school board "did a very cursory and superficial investigation into Wendell Nibbs."

"Miami-Dade County Public Schools does not condone the actions alleged in the lawsuit," school district spokeswoman Jackie Calzadilla said in a statement. "We have policies in place that prohibit this type of behavior and we expect all of our employees to conduct themselves in a professional manner. We strive to provide a safe and productive learning and working environment for both our students and staff. All allegations are taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. This individual is no longer employed with our school district. Since there is pending litigation, we cannot provide further comments."

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