School administrators say teacher arrested for sex with student lied on her application

LAKELAND, Fla. - The teacher accused of having sex with her 17-year-old student lied on her application to cover up a previous investigation, according to Polk County school administrators.

Superintendent Kathryn LeRoy said there were no red flags three years ago when they did a background check on Jennifer Fichter.

The district had no idea that in 2008 she suddenly resigned from a teaching job in Orlando after an investigation into inappropriate texting with an eighth grade student. According to the investigation file, Fichter reportedly told a teacher she "had feelings for the boy," and implied that she wanted to have sex with him.

"She did not state that she worked in any other school district, so her applications as falsified," LeRoy said Monday.

Under the employment history section in her Fichter's application, it shows she left off her teaching job at Robinswood Middle School in Orange County.

She also denied ever being under investigation, or ever resigning in lieu of discipline.

"I'm just more and more surprised about what's going on," said Nic Patrick, who had Fichter for English at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy before she got hauled to jail last week.

Monday morning, LPD and sheriff's detectives came back to the school to do more follow up work and looking for more victims.

The Department of Education said districts are required to report teacher misconduct.

Orange County Schools admits in this case it did not report its findings to the state.

A school spokesman said they would have provided its investigation to Polk County if administrators asked for it, but again, the Polk School District had no idea she worked there.

"I know one thing. We are using all of our due diligence in Polk County to ensure that we have the best teachers in Polk County and we followed that process with this hire," LeRoy said.

The board is expected to officially fire Fichter at a regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday.

Print this article Back to Top