District gives teacher in sex case a vote of no confidence

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 8, 2008

A Pinellas School District investigation has concluded that a Seminole High School teacher's effectiveness has been "diminished" after he allegedly met a 17-year-old male student at a bar, took him to his apartment, and paid him for sex.

School district records show that the St. Petersburg Police Department investigated Gerald DiPanfilo, 55, last summer on a charge of engaging a minor in prostitution. The police department referred the case to the State Attorney's Office, which did not file formal charges. Instead, the case was turned over to the school district's Office of Professional Standards. DiPanfilo was reassigned to the district's warehouse during the investigation.

The school district hired DiPanfilo as an elementary art teacher in 1992. He taught at Madeira Beach Middle School before transferring to Seminole High in 1997.

School superintendent Clayton Wilcox has recommended DiPanfilo be fired. The School Board was scheduled to take the matter up at its Tuesday meeting, but DiPanfilo has requested an administrative hearing.