(As originally published with bells and whistles, Wed, April 6th 2022, 5:20 AM EDT)
PAKOKEE, Fla. (CBS12) — A teacher who worked at Pahokee High School faces at least one more charge of battery-simple touch or strike.
CBS12 News delved into two reports from the School District of Palm Beach County’s police department about Stephen Goodman, of Lake Worth Beach.
A school police sergeant wrote that on Feb. 16, he was called to Pahokee High School for a complaint about Goodman, 52, by a student. He met with a guidance counselor who had received a note written by a 17-year-old senior.
The note said:
“Goodman would grab my shoulder and then start moving his hand down my back, without my permission. He’d call me baby or bae on repeated occasions, then would tell me never to tell his wife. He would try to hug me in multiple occasions, when I would tell him time and time again not to.
“During October 2020, I was in Goodman’s class working on a CAS project with my girlfriends. We were on Facetime since they were virtual because of Covid-19 and I was physically at school. That day I had a change into a skirt at school because I was part of my school’s bowling team, and we had a game that day. I was on the phone with my friends, and they saw I was wearing the skirt and were complimenting them. In the midst of all the complaints I was receiving, Goodman decided to say something as well. He said ‘If I was in high school, I’d f___ the s___ out of that,” referencing me. After hearing the comment all of my friends and I felt silent and we were in complete shock.’
The sergeant wrote in his report that the guidance counselor brought the victim into her office, “so that I could speak to her about the above written letter. [The victim] then gave me a sworn audio recorded statement, where she confirmed that is what occurred. Goodman is the instructor over the International Baccalaureate Sports, Exercise and Health Science, where the reported incidents took place. This IB class is to help students develop strong academic characteristics, and lead them to hire learning at high ranking universities. [The victim] realizing Goodman was going to continue being the instructor dropped the class in fear his actions would continue.”
He wrote that the victim and her mother “said they want to have the case prosecuted on the charge of battery for touching her shoulder and back. She they also gave the names of possible witnesses.”
There were three witnesses and it isn’t clear who said what, since their names were blacked out on the report.
The sergeant wrote that he spoke to each potential witness individually with the guidance counselor present. “[Two of the witnesses] stated they stated they were on Facetime with [the victim] sometime in the month of October, and that particular day [the victim] was wearing a skirt because of a bowling competition and she was participating in that day. As [the two] were complimenting [the victim], they both heard Goodman say “If I was in high school, I would f___ the s___ out of that.” Neither saw the battery as they were virtual students at that time. [One] said she was in class the day [the victim] wore the skirt, but did not hear the comment as she tends to herself and stays away from everyone. [Another] did say she saw Goodman touch the skirt though.
“[One witness] stated she has not seen physical contact from Goodman towards students, but she has heard comments made by Goodman that are inappropriate. One in particular there was a day when [somebody] was showing some classmates pictures of random things in her phone. A picture of her younger female cousin was shown, and her age was brought up. Goodman made the comment ‘If she’s old enough to bleed, ].’”
The sergeant wrote that the guidance counselor contacted DCF and that he could not speak to Goodman to discuss the complaint, since his lawyer told authorities not to contact him.
The report was dated Feb. 18 and said there had been three complaints made about Goodman in January.
In the second report, signed March 8, a school police officer wrote about meeting a student, her father, and an assistant principal while on duty at Pahokee High, a few days earlier.
According to the report, “17-year-old [victim’s name] explained that during this 2021-2022 school year, 52-year-old Health Science teacher Goodman had touched her on the thigh and around the shoulders on multiple occasions. One of these incidents to note is when she was sleeping in class and Goodman tried to touch her thigh while she was wearing a skirt. In these statements [the victim] also stated that Goodman would chase her around with a ‘mannequin penis’ and put it in her face. [The victim] said that the mannequin penis was kept in the storage closet of classroom 7-129 where which is where the medical education classroom is and Goodman taught. Pictures of the mannequin penis were taken and attached to this report,” and entered into evidence
After the interview, the officer wrote about going to the classroom “where Goodman’s class was regularly taught. In the closet of the classroom I located a flesh colored mannequin penis in one of the shelves in a plastic bin. This mannequin penis matched the description of the object she said was put in her face by Goodman.”
Then, on March 8, the officer reported speaking with a student “who was present in Goodman’s class when he started touching/tickling [the victim]’s thigh. In a sworn statement and to me, [this witness] stated [the victim] was sitting in a chair with her legs up on another chair when Goodman came up and started touching her leg and moving his hand higher up her leg. [The witness] went on to say she could see [the victim] was very uncomfortable so [somebody] moved his hand away.”
Goodman was charged with the misdemeanor of battery-simple touch or strike for each of these incidents.
The school district had already assigned him to a location away from Pahokee High School.