Former Palmetto Senior High School teacher Jason Edward Meyers was arrested in February 2016 on a sexual battery charge involving one of his students. A lawsuit was filed this week in federal court on behalf of a student against the Miami-Dade School Board that claims the school district did nothing to stop Meyers’ behavior.
“As alleged, the School Board knew that Mr. Meyers posed a serious risk of sexual abuse against our community’s children. Yet it did virtually nothing to stop him,” Miami attorney Mark Schweikert told The Miami Herald. “Instead, the School Board merely relocated the risk posed by his predatory behavior from one school to another.”
According to the suit, there have been concerns about Meyers’ inappropriate behavior for years now. Someone sent an email in 2008 to the principal at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School in North Miami-Dade alleging that Meyers, who taught creative writing, was engaging in sexual activity with his female students. It is unclear if the claim was investigated, but Meyers was transferred to Palmetto Senior High in 2011, where he reportedly continued to sexually harass his students.
The suit alleges that Meyers was involved in sexual relationships with eight of his students at two different schools in his 14-year tenure as a teacher in Miami-Dade County. He reportedly encouraged his creative writing students to write erotic content. He told one student to read novels with sexually explicit content like “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, with a special emphasis on sections about an older man seducing an underage girl.
Other allegations in the lawsuit include: giving a student provocative clothing to wear to his class, attempting to force another student to leave her boyfriend and telling her to title a poem she had written, “Come Inside Me.” He singled out these students to such a public degree that they became known as “Jason’s girls,” the suit claims.
In some instances, the allegations against Meyers go beyond sexual harassment. He is accused of groping and forcibly kissing the plaintiff and reportedly had sex with another student inside his classroom. The suit also mentions an argument between Meyers and his wife, who also teaches at Palmetto High, that reportedly took place at the school in 2015. The confrontation was purportedly about his relationship with at least one student. Meyers lost his post at the school after the 2016 arrest.
Palmetto High School has a history of sex scandals. Two months ago a Palmetto High student who came to the U.S. on an exchange program was arrested along with her former host father and current husband on sexual abuse and child pornography charges. Marta San Jose, 21, and Dale Leary of Cutler Bay, 50, allegedly worked together to convince San Jose’s then 14-year-old sister to come live with them so they could sexually abuse her.
San Jose was a Spanish foreign-exchange student who was hosted by Leary and his former wife Claudia Leary when she was 16. Before she finished her senior year at Palmetto High, Leary divorced his wife and married San Jose weeks after she turned 18. The pair reportedly convinced San Jose’s underage sister from Spain to live with them Florida and sexually abused her for two years. San Jose is reportedly still in jail; Leary committed suicide after he was released on bond.