Osceola County teacher fights suspension after alleged ‘inappropriate communication’ with student

by: Michael Lopardi

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – An Osceola County teacher has been suspended without pay over allegations of inappropriate communications with a student.

Osceola High School business education teacher Harvey Brownlow is accused of giving a cellphone to a female student without her parents’ knowledge after the student’s parent took away her cellphone for disciplinary reasons.

Superintendent Debra Pace wrote in a letter that Brownlow communicated with the student outside of school using the phone.

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“The contexts of the communication with this student were not school-related matters and occurred during all hours of the day, which included late night and early morning,” Pace wrote.

The superintendent also wrote, “There were pornographic images on the cellphone which was provided by you to the student.”

The district did not say the student’s age.

Brownlow is also accused of providing a screen shot of a student’s FOCUS record to two students.

Brownlow’s attorney, Nicholas Wolfmeyer, told Channel 9’s Michael Lopardi over the phone that police investigated the situation and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Lopardi asked the attorney and his client for an interview but the attorney declined.

In a letter to the superintendent, Wolfmeyer said his client “disputes the material facts” and plans to appeal the district’s findings.

The superintendent is now recommending termination.

The school board could decide to set an administrative hearing through the state or to hear the case itself when it meets Sept. 5, a district spokeswoman said.

Brownlow was hired by the district in August 2015, the spokeswoman said.

Lopardi reached out to Kissimmee police to learn whether they had any role in the case but haven’t heard back yet.

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