A Southwest Florida elementary school teacher was arrested and accused of putting a video camera in a school bathroom. Parents are now looking for answers to how this could happen and what is being done to keep it from happening again.
Elementary school is supposed to be a safe place, but the Collier County Sheriff’s Office says a teacher preyed on students at Pinecrest Elementary in Immokalee.
Detectives say Diego Alberto Rojas-Pulido hid a camera in one of the restrooms.
Roselia Vazquez Perez said four of her kids were in Rojas-Pulido’s class at one time or another.
“They’re surprised because he seemed like a good teacher. My kids did talk to him all the time and sometimes they don’t believe that their teacher did this,” said Perez.
The Collier County School District told parents that Rojas-Pulido was fired but would not say how Pinecrest staff would explain what happened to students.
Perez said her daughter was scared to go to school. “You send your kids to school so they can be good and then things like this come out that there’s teachers who are supposed to take care of them are instead harming them,” Perez said.
Perez said she learned about the arrest on Friday after she got a call from the school. “Why do they do that? My daughter is scared and says he watched it and he watched older girls, so she’s scared.”
Students at the school found the camera in the bathroom and told Rojas-Pulido. When nothing happened, a student reported what happened to a counselor.
“Find out why he does something like that. He needs to pay for what he did,” said Perez.
It’s hard for parents to understand how a teacher could try to harm these kids. Julia has kids who were once Rojas-Pulido’s students and she says the sad reality is now kids aren’t even safe in a school bathroom. “You have to tell your kids always be aware in the bathroom where you are, you need to be aware of everywhere you’re at. Those are the things you need to tell them,” said Julia.
Collier County schools said they could not talk about what happened at Pinecrest Elementary. The sheriff’s office said the same thing.
Rojas-Pulido is being held in the Collier County Jail and will go before a judge on Tuesday afternoon.