Retired teacher faces sex battery charge in Miami-Dade County

Former South Dade Senior High School, Terra Environmental Research Institute Magnet School teacher arrested

Tom Miller Privett, a retired teacher, faces a charge over alleged sexual relations with a high school student. (MDPD)

KENDALL, Fla. – A 70-year-old retired teacher is facing a charge of sexual activity with a teenage girl in his custodial authority in Miami-Dade County, prosecutors said.

Tom Miller Privett taught world history at the Terra Environmental Research Institute Magnet School, at 11005 SW 84th St., in Kendall.

“When a teacher transforms from an esteemed educator to an alleged sexual predator, lives are permanently damaged, trust is betrayed, and a serious crime has been committed,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

Pinellas County deputies and Miami-Dade school police detectives arrested Privett on Friday morning. He is being held without bond while awaiting extradition to Miami-Dade County.

“Our detectives worked relentlessly to ensure Privett was brought to justice,” Miami-Dade school police Chief Edwin Lopez said in a statement.

Privett first met the student when she was in ninth grade in 2012, and he started to engage in sexual conversations with the girl when she was in 11th grade, according to detectives.

The victim told detectives the sexual conversations escalated into sexual activity in the classroom when she was in 12th grade on March 8, 2016, and it continued for about three months, according to the arrest report.

Prosecutors said the 32-year veteran teacher, who also worked at South Dade Senior High School, retired from Miami-Dade County Public Schools in 2017. The victim reported the crime late last month, police said.

“I commend our detectives for their immediate action,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said in a statement.

Detectives believe there are more victims. Authorities are asking anyone with information about additional victims to contact prosecutors at 305-547-0441 and officers at 305-995-2677.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.