tampabay.com

Teachers resign over sex in classroom

Two students reported watching the Coleman Middle School teachers May 22 through a hole in a paper used to cover a classroom window.

By LETITIA STEIN
Published June 8, 2006


TAMPA - Two former Hillsborough County middle school teachers are facing a state inquiry after students said they saw them having sex in a classroom during school hours.

Two students reported watching the Coleman Middle School teachers May 22 through a hole in a paper used to cover a classroom window. One of the teachers later tried to get a student to keep quiet about the incident, school officials said.

In detail, the students described to school officials how they saw Spanish teacher Frances Sepulveda, 30, and coach Bryant Wilburn, 29, having sex inside a locked classroom.

One student said he waited outside for five minutes. When Sepulveda opened the door, Wilburn exited.

Both teachers initially denied the claims of misconduct. But they later admitted having sex in the classroom on one or two occasions during school hours, according to the district report. Both teachers resigned a day before the school year ended on May 25, according to a letter sent home to Coleman parents.

It noted only that the teachers resigned "after they were interviewed about unprofessional conduct on campus."

"No students were directly involved and no students were harmed or endangered in any way," Coleman principal Michael Hoskinson wrote.

Hillsborough schools spokesman Stephen Hegarty said the resignations were "the best results that we could have hoped for."

"Not only is their job in Hillsborough County over with," he said, ''but there's a question about their certification."

Hegarty said school officials are sending information about the incident to state officials, who could look into whether Sepulveda and Wilburn should be allowed to teach in any of Florida's public schools.

Both teachers were in good standing before the incident, Hegarty said. Sepulveda had worked for the school district for more than seven years, and Wilburn had more than five years in the system.

"I'm embarrassed by the incident," Wilburn said when contacted Wednesday. "Everything is not what it seems."

Sepulveda could not be reached for comment. Public records show she was married in February to another man.

Sepulveda tried to keep the students from reporting what they saw, according to the report. It said she pulled a student who reportedly witnessed the act out of her next class.

The student said Sepulveda told her to keep quiet about what she saw. But she asked to call her mother and eventually told the principal.

Times researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this report. Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or 813-226-3400.