In December 2016, Krop Senior High School teacher Eric Jeraci and his students were attending a debate competition in New Jersey. Then, after he scored tickets to a Broadway show, the group drove 50 miles to New York City to see the bright lights of Times Square and experience the nation's best theater.
There was only one problem: Jeraci didn't have enough seats.
Five students came along on the field trip, but Jeraci had only had four tickets. So he chose three of them to accompany him to the show. According to a report issued last week by the Florida Department of Education, the other two students were left alone in Times Square for roughly two and a half hours.
On September 10, a state disciplinary board suspended Jeraci's teaching license for six months. He must serve two years of probationary employment. He did not respond to a request for comment from New Times this week.
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The state's report outlines a litany of concerns about the 2016 debate team field trip. For starters, Jeraci filled out forms indicating another adult would help chaperone, but that person apparently never committed to the trip and didn't show up.
As planned by Jeraci, the trip was strictly for students to compete against other schools at Princeton University in central New Jersey. That meant the students should never have ventured to New York City. Jeraci was also supposed to rent a van that was large enough to fit the group, but he chose to transport the students in Ubers, where they had no adult supervision.
The disciplinary report does not indicate any harm to the students but says Jeraci "failed to make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or the student's mental health and/or physical health and/or safety."
As part of his discipline, Jeraci will also be fined $750 and undergo a three-hour training course on education ethics.