OAKLAND PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - A high school teacher has been arrested after being accused of attempting to groom and solicit a romantic relationship with a student.
John Teti, who was a computer and business tech teacher at Northeast High School in Oakland Park, was arrested on Thursday.
At his bond court appearance Friday, the 41-year-old was charged with soliciting or engaging in a romantic relationship while in a position of authority.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, he allegedly sparked an interest with a 16-year-old student.
Deputies said the relationship began in October when he offered to pick her up from home when she was running late, let her skip class by staying in his classroom and even used a vape pen to get high with her.
A prosecutor at Teti’s bond court appearance said the teacher faced disciplinary actions from school officials.
“Mr. Teti, you already received an internal reprimand from the school in October of last year regarding inappropriate communications with students,” said the prosecutor. “Despite that reprimand, he continued to have inappropriate communications, targeting this victim.”
School officials determined Teti was misusing the app Remind, which communicates safely with students and parents.
Deputies said Teti would send the 16-year-old student text messages usually late at night that were sexually charged.
One text read, “I could always come over to tutor you,” followed by an emoji with a finger pointed to an open circle, which is used in text messages to indicate sex.
“That’s really strange,” said Northeast High School student Jeffrey Arnold. “That’s a teacher. That’s not really appropriate, especially since it’s a minor.”
According to the police report, the relationship between Teti and the teen continued to progress. He would shower her with compliments.
The report states another of his texts read, “If my wife were to suddenly die, would you be my teenage bride?”
Investigators said Teti sent a package to her home one day with snacks and a note that freaked her out since she said she never gave him her address.
After several months, the student asked Teti to stop, and her older siblings reached out to him on Facebook as well.
The student’s father read the text messages between the two and called Teti before reaching out to police.
“Later, he was confronted by the victim’s father about these communications with his daughter,” said the prosecutor, “and he continued to communicate with the victim.”
Another text to the teen read, “You’re in love with me; you just don’t want to admit it.”
“They’re here for their job, not for a relationship with a minor, which is already illegal,” said Northeast High School student Desiree Dunkley.
Upon hearing the prosecutor’s statement on Friday, Teti was seen on camera rolling his eyes.
“I’m even more concerned, Your Honor, I’m looking at Mr. Teti rolling his eyes,” said the prosecutor. “I don’t believe he takes this very seriously.”
When he was originally confronted by her family members he was said to have downplayed the relationship, but once in police custody he admitted to having a relationship with the student unlike others.
Teti was fired from his teaching position on Thursday.
At his bond hearing, Broward Circuit Judge Jackie Powell told him he cannot have any contact with the victim or any other minors.
“No contact means not by phone, not by internet, not by text, not by any social media. No contact,” she said.
Teti is being held on a $50,000 bond.
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