St. Peters:--- The board of the St. Maarten Academy is currently investigating two teachers and one of its Vice Principals that have been accused of making sexual advances towards some of their female students. The two teachers and Vice Principal are assigned at the PSVE section of the St. Maarten Academy.
According to a letter sent by a concerned father to all media houses on St. Maarten, two teachers and a Vice Principal have made sexual advances towards several female students attending the learning institution.
A member of the board of the St. Maarten Academy confirmed that two of the teachers have been suspended pending a preliminary investigation. SMN News learnt that the two teachers that were suspended are Francisco Lacroes and Rijnaldo Euson. The board member said that the teachers engaged in some sort of "frontish" behavior when they made sexual advances to the students. "We don't believe the students were sexually molested but there were things the two male teachers said to the students that were inappropriate. However, the Vice Principal has claimed his innocence and told the board that he is being framed by the female students. The allegation has also left the Vice Principal totally devastated." In an invited comment, Vice Principal Marvin Woods said that the person or persons who made the allegations against him made some false allegations. "All I can tell you right now is that those allegations are wrong and I don't even know who made them."
Research conducted by SMN News shows that Marvin Woods was a Pastor of the Seven Days Adventist Church (SDA) and was working for the North Caribbean Conference in Antigua. SMN News learnt that Woods was dismissed from his post when the SDA found out he was involved in an illicit relationship with a member of the church he was leading. Sources within the SDA said Woods was still married at the time he engaged in the illicit relationship and as such he was dismissed from his post.
SMN News also learnt that the Management Team of the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE) section conducted an internal investigation when several students made allegations against the two teachers and Vice Principal but the management team has chosen to withhold the information they gathered from the School Board. One source within the school said that the Management Team even refused to suspend the two teachers when they were instructed to do so because they felt the three male teachers should be given counseling rather than have disciplinary measures taken against them.
In an invited comment, Francisco Lacroes told SMN News that he has never engaged in any type of inappropriate behavior with any of the students attending the school. However, Lacroes said he was in a relationship with a former student who is now 20 years old. He said he filed several complaints at the police station against the student when she threatened to frame him and destroy his career as a teacher. "The former student (name provided) was living in my apartment since we were having a relationship that lasted about three to four months. When the relationship ended I asked the person to vacate my apartment and that is when the threats started." Lacroes said he has about one hundred text messages from the person in question threatening him. He said the board of the St. Maarten Academy also has those messages and they are currently trying to find the former student but she did her damage and then left the island. Lacroes said he met with the board two Fridays ago and he was suspended last Monday pending the outcome of the investigation. The teacher made clear that he did not have a relationship with the student while she was attending school.
The gym teacher of the school Rijnaldo Euson said when he was contacted for a comment that he is innocent. He said the board called him to a meeting and requested information on a situation to which he provided the answers. Euson said the board is presently conducting an investigation and when it is completed he knows he will be vindicated. "At the end of the investigation, I will be making a full statement to the media," Euson said.
President of the St. Maarten Academy Board Alstain Van Dyke Bell said that the board took a decision based on the information that was provided to them by the management of the school. When he was asked why they did not suspend the Vice Principal pending the outcome of the investigation, Bell said the board has some information and documentation to suspend two of the three teachers but there was not enough to suspend the third, the Vice Principal. He further explained that a meeting was held on Friday where the board managed to gather more information on the allegations made against Vice Principal Marvin Woods and as such the board of the St. Maarten Academy will be taking another decision regarding Woods within the next forty eight hours. When asked how many female students filed complaints against the three male teachers of the vocational school, Bell said based on the advice and information that was provided to the board by the management team it appears as though several students filed complaints.