Education

SC teacher wrote note to student: ‘No more cheek, from now on straight to the mouth’

Beaufort County teacher passes note with student. Here’s what they wrote

A note passed by Battery Creek High School Spanish teacher Fabian Jaimes and a student on Nov. 16, 2017 led to a criminal investigation into possible sexual misconduct. No charges were filed, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
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A note passed by Battery Creek High School Spanish teacher Fabian Jaimes and a student on Nov. 16, 2017 led to a criminal investigation into possible sexual misconduct. No charges were filed, according to the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

A Battery Creek High School Spanish teacher passed a note to a female student during class one day last fall, telling the student that he wanted to kiss her “with everything included” and that he “will miss (her) lips,” according to a recently released report from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

The note-passing occurred Nov. 16 in front of a substitute teacher and in a room full of students, but was brought to the attention of administrators at lunch that day by the female student. Two quick-thinking students who were in the classroom when the note-passing occurred also collected evidence used in the criminal investigation.

In the same 32-page report that raised questions about how cooperative district officials, including Superintendent Jeff Moss, were in the criminal investigation, deputies said teacher Fabian Jaimes had kissed the female student on the cheek, told her he wanted to marry her, requested a photo of her wearing her sports uniform and suggested they share “churros ... and juice.”

However, deputies ultimately found that no crime had been committed, the report said.

In an interview with deputies, Jaimes admitted to having kissed the female student on her cheek, after initially denying it. He said neither he nor she had inappropriately touched each other.

While the female student acknowledged that she had willingly hugged Jaimes, as she does with other teachers, she described an incident two days before the note-passing in which he had put his hand on her face and had attempted to turn her so he could kiss her on the lips. He only was able to kiss her on the cheek, the report said.

“Lately, (Jaimes) has tried to kiss her and this was not wanted,” a deputy wrote in the report.

On Nov. 16, the female student and her class moved into Jaimes’ room, located just across the hallway, because her classroom was “too cold,” the report said.

She told deputies Jaimes sat next to her, instructed her not to talk and asked her to respond to a note he passed her.

“I am leaving early today,” he wrote.

She asked why.

“But I will miss your lips,” he wrote, drawing a set of lips instead of writing out the word.

“Since you owe me 2 (kisses) next time you have to give me a real one,” Jaimes continued, “with everything included.”

The female student asked what that meant.

He replied, “No more cheek, from now on straight to the mouth.”

She told him she couldn’t do that.

He wrote back that she was lying.

She responded that it would be “weird.”

His final phrase to her: “It is not, get ready for tomorrow.”

The female student wrote in a statement to police, “After the note he told me that I need to come to his class after 4th period tommorow (sic).”

Downplaying the note, Jaimes told deputies that he was “only joking as there was trust between them,” and that it was his “mistake.”

According to the female student’s interview with deputies, Jaimes instructed her to throw away the note, and she did. An unidentified student removed the note from the trash and gave it back to her.

In the lunch room later that day, Jaimes – who did not have lunch duty – approached the student.

Assistant Principal Denise Lessard was on duty and, in her written statement to deputies, described Jaimes whispering to the student, “What are you doing?” and “Did you throw it away?”

Lessard told him to leave, which is when the student handed the note to Lessard, setting in motion the investigation.

In a written statement, the female student wrote “Mr. Jaimes always is flirtatious. ...When I leave fourth period he ask(s) me to come hug him and I’m not a mean person, so I hug him.”

The female student told deputies that “ever since freshman year,” Jaimes would call her “pretty.” She said Jaimes suggested she be “alone” with him to talk, rubbed her arm and asked her to “make churros and ... have juice together,” according to the report.

Jaimes began working for Beaufort County School District in the 2015-16 school year, according to district spokesman Jim Foster.

No charges were filed against Jaimes because investigators determined that no South Carolina law had been broken.

The Beaufort County Board of Education fired the teacher in late November. Because Jaimes was in the United States on a work visa from Colombia, he had to be deported, but the deputies’ report was unclear on whether he had left the country.

Attempts to locate contact information for Jaimes have been unsuccessful.

Jaimes told police it was customary in his culture to kiss people on the cheek when they give hugs. However, he acknowledged later in the interview that he had never kissed any other students on the cheek.

In a brief follow-up interview, a deputy asked the female student what she believed Jaimes’ intentions were. She said Jaimes “wanted to kiss her on the lips only, and she did not believe his intent was anything further than that at the time of the note-passing.”

Kelly Meyerhofer: 843-706-8136, @KellyMeyerhofer

Teacher’s behavior wasn’t isolated to one student, according to report

Another female student told deputies of Fabian Jaimes’ flirtatious behavior with her, which in the past month had included rubbing her arm and gently pulling her hair. She also said he would pat her back “daily.”

In a written statement, the student wrote that Jaimes had encouraged her to “do something ‘more fun’” with her boyfriend and told her that if she did not marry her boyfriend, “he would do it first.”

A deputy told the student’s mother what her daughter had reported. “Although inappropriate for a teacher, it did not violate any South Carolina Criminal law.”

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