Education

South Miami Teacher Sent Eggplant Emoji to Student, Offered Extra Credit for Sex

South Miami Teacher Sent Eggplant Emoji to Student, Offered Extra Credit for Sex
Photo by Tero Vesalainen / iStock
PHOTO BY TERO VESALAINEN / ISTOCK
Photo by Tero Vesalainen / iStock
During his career at South Miami Senior High School, Armando Alejo got rave reviews from students for being a laid-back guy who taught difficult concepts in a way that was easy to understand.

That might explain why Alejo was so transparent during a text-message conversation with a male student in 2016. According to an investigation by the Florida Department of Education, the science teacher made a blatant offer to improve the 17-year-old's grade in exchange for sexual favors.

"I'll give you the B you give me the D," Alejo texted the teen, according to a disciplinary report, before tacking on a series of sexually suggestive emojis including an eggplant and a peach.

At a meeting earlier this month, a state board revoked Alejo's teaching license for the next ten years. If he teaches again in the future, he will be placed on three years of employment-based probation. (The allegations are not related to the similarly named Broward County educator Armando D. Alejo.)

Alejo did not respond to a phone message from New Times seeking comment. According to a spokesman, he resigned from the school district October 26, 2016.

State records are vague about how the conversation came to the attention of investigators, but documents show Alejo sent the texts during the 2016-17 school year. According to a transcript, Alejo initiated the conversation by texting the teen that he'd received a 53.8 percent score on an assignment.

When the student asked for extra credit, Alejo repeatedly responded with sexual innuendos, telling the teen to "Convince me [winking emoji]" and asking him, "You want the B. What about me?"

At one point, he texted an eggplant emoji and a peach emoji. Explicitly, he told the student, "I should fuck that booty."

The transcript shows the student made several attempts to change the subject, at one point even saying, "ill stay with the 79," his overall grade in the class. Eventually, the teen stopped responding, prompting a series of desperate texts from Alejo, who sent question marks and an emoji with a nervous face.

As part of his discipline, Alejo was ordered to attend the state's Recovery Network Program, designed for educators with drug, alcohol, or mental health issues. Under the order, he is barred from teaching until at least 2028.
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Jessica Lipscomb is news editor of Miami New Times and an enthusiastic Florida Woman. Born and raised in Orlando, she has been a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Contact: Jessica Lipscomb