Jewish private school fires teacher accused of sex abuse at previous schools

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida teacher has been arrested and charged in at least two incidents of inappropriate behavior with children.

That man, 29-year-old Eric Givens, faced a bond court judge following his arrest related to two incidents that happened at two different school sites.

A 10-year-old at Theodore and Thelma Gibson Charter School said that in March, her former teacher, Givens, sent her a text message that read, “Always wanted to date you” and “oh wow I wanna see you bad.”

The texts were accompanied by a picture of Givens wearing only boxer briefs. He told police he thought he was messaging the little girl’s mother

Troubling allegations also came from when he was a teacher at St. Mary’s Cathedral School. That’s where a victim told police that in 2019, on at least seven occasions, he grabbed her wrist, hair and breasts when she was in 5th grade.

Givens he faces several charges that include battery.

At the time of his arrest, Givens was working for the Scheck Hillel Community School.

Rabbi Ari Leubitz, the Head of School at Scheck Hillel, confirmed to Local 10 News that Givens was a first-year teacher who was terminated following his arrest, and that the cases have no connection to the school.

“To my knowledge, the allegations that led to this arrest were not made public prior to the teacher’s employment here,” Lebutz said in a statement to Local 10, which added that Givens cleared a Florida Department of Law Enforcement background check.

The Archdiocese of Miami said they just learned about his arrest on that case, but that there was another incident back then.

The archdiocese said Givens was fired after sending an inappropriate text to a student.

That case went to law enforcement, but police told Local 10 News on Monday it was found to be distributing, but not criminal, which is why he wasn’t arrested back then.

Authorities think there may be other victims as Givens worked at several schools. Anyone with information is urged to call police or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

About the Author:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."