Former Leisure City K-8 Center employee arrested after allegedly stealing 8th grade class’ funds

SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A former employee at Leisure City K-8 Center is facing serious charges after she allegedly stole funds that had been saved up for the 8th grade class.

Fifty-year-old Latarsha Lorraine Hicks was arrested on May 10 and now faces a grand theft charge.

According to the arrest form, Hicks stole nearly $2,000 from the field trip fund.

“I’m shocked to know that because my daughter goes here, and I participate in everything that the school asks me to do,” said parent Crystal Angel. “It’s a really good school, so I’m surprised that even happened.”

Hicks worked for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system for over a decade and was most recently working at Leisure City K-8 Center, located in the area of Southwest 288th Street and Illinois Road.

“She worked a lot in the office, and she would substitute, as far as I know,” said parent Barbara Valdivia.

Valdivia said it’s upsetting to know the parents’ donations to the school may have been stolen.

“Every week, we donate $2 for them coming without their uniform, and that’s scary,” she said.

One parent at the school claimed the end of the year activities for the 8th graders were cancelled after an employee allegedly stole the school’s funds.

According to Miami-Dade County Public Schools officials, the activities for the class have not been cancelled and will continue as scheduled.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Chief Communications Officer Daisy Gonzalez-Diego issued the following statement after Hicks’ arrest:

“We can confirm that a former Leisure City K-8 Center paraprofessional was arrested on May 10th and charged with 3rd degree grand theft. Latarsha Hicks had been with the school system for 30 years and had no prior school-related incidents. She was arrested on May 10th, and resigned the same day in lieu of termination. Hicks will be precluded from seeking future employment with the district.”

Some parents are now trying to figure out how they’ll explain to their kids why a school employee would break the law.

“I guess for them, now it’s going to be really hard for them to find out,” said Valdivia.

Hicks is expected to be arraigned in June.

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