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News Section: Schools and Education

Gagnon and Martin Suspended over Manatee High Investigation

Published Monday, August 5, 2013 4:00 pm

BRADENTON – Manatee County School District Assistant Superintendent Bob Gagnon and staff attorney Scott Martin have been suspended with pay for their roles in the handling of the Rod Frazier case at Manatee High. Frazier, who resigned last week, was charged with multiple misdemeanors after a BPD and state attorney's office investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with at least one MHS student.

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Superintendent Rick Mills said that the suspensions resulted from an internal investigation of the case and that the two employees were notified Monday of their suspensions. Mills said that once the investigation has been completed, he would bring any potential disciplinary action before the school board.

Frazier, who was both a parent/teacher liaison and assistant football coach at the school, had been suspended in 2012 when suspicions of inappropriate relationships with students prompted the district to launch an internal investigation. However, he was reinstated just one day later and in time for the team's first playoff game of the season.

Later, a former Manatee student made accusations through a letter that Frazier had fondled her and requested that she give him nude photographs of herself. Florida state statutes require any school district employee to report any allegations of potential abuse to a state hotline maintained by the Department of Children and Families.

At the time, both DCF and local police confirmed that no one had reported the allegations. The Bradenton Police Department then conducted a thorough investigation, turning over evidence to the state attorney's office, reportedly with the recommendation of multiple arrests.

Because it was known that several district employees had seen the letter as part of an internal investigation, it was presumed that some staff members might be charged in accordance with the state's the Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act, passed in 2012, in response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University, which makes it a felony for such employees not to report knowledge of such accusations.

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