Teachers of the year, they were not: One was accused of punching a 17-year-old girl who refused to have sex with him, and the second allegedly sent inappropriate texts and nude photos to male students. Late last month, both Miami-Dade County Public Schools educators were banned from teaching in Florida ever again.
The Florida Department of Education has permanently revoked the teaching licenses of the two teachers, accused in separate cases of misconduct. Manuel Cruz was an English teacher at Hialeah Senior High, while Alan Caves taught music at Coral Reef Senior High. Both teachers resigned while under investigation, but the license revocations ensure they won’t be able to teach elsewhere in Florida.
In late December 2012, police records show, Cruz downed three glasses of Scotch and tried to have sex with a 17-year-old girl at his apartment. When the teen refused, Cruz punched her in the face so hard she lost consciousness.
Cruz told police he’d had sex with the teen, who wasn’t a Hialeah Senior High student, a week before the assault. He was arrested and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, which was later amended to battery. Cruz completed a pretrial diversion program, and the state agreed to drop the charge, according to an administrative complaint. He resigned from the district in January 2013.
The second teacher, Alan Caves, caught administrators’ attention during the 2014-15 school year after they learned he was sending inappropriate texts and photos to students. In one exchange, Caves asked a male student his age. When told the student was 16, he replied, "Technically you are legal... My cop friend says 16. Lol." Caves then asked the student to "Delete!" the text and warned him: "This conversation stays between us!"
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An administrative complaint says Caves sent photos of partially nude men to another male student. Caves resigned in February 2015 before he could be fired.
Interestingly, students at Coral Reef Senior High seemed to have picked up on his creepy behavior before school administrators caught on. Reviews posted on ratemyteachers.com in 2013 say Caves was a bit "too friendly with students" and had a habit of "making you uncomfortable to be in the class at all."
"Whether it's guiding you to a haven of Music Theory knowledge, or a cesspool of inappropriate behavior with little boys 14 and older; whether it's sight reading a piece of music brilliantly, or being a 53 year old high schooler; Mr. Caves has taught me more than any other teacher, in AND out of the class scene," one student wrote.
Neither Cruz nor Caves will be allowed to teach in Florida again. In addition to having their licenses revoked, both are permanently barred from reapplying.