Lee County ROTC instructor facing termination for ethics violation

Published: September 12, 2016 9:52 PM EDT
Updated: September 14, 2016 10:00 PM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – Lee County Schools Superintendent Gregory Adkins has requested the termination of an East Lee High School ROTC instructor who is accused of making disparaging comments about LGBT individuals back in May.

Angel Villanueva allegedly told students that people in the LGBT community would suffer consequences for their lifestyles.

“The investigation determined that [Villanueva] imposed his personal religious beliefs and views regarding gender identity on students during classroom and other instructional time,” school district documents said.

District employees have accused Villanueva of violating state ethics and professional codes through “conduct that is disruptive to the learning environment.” But Villanueva said he had good intentions.

“My intentions were always the benefit of the kids. Maybe I overstep my boundaries because sometimes parents allow kids to take certain decisions that you wonder what’s going on,” he said Tuesday.

Villanueva was suspended without pay on June 20 and attended a hearing to respond to allegations a week later. A letter addressed to him on July 18 informed him that his termination would be requested at a school board meeting.

The former ROTC instructor has requested an administrative hearing, according to the agenda for Tuesday’s board meeting. Adkins will request that Villanueva’s suspension continue during that process, which could take several months.

Villanueva said he is still fighting for his job.