Brevard Public Schools Issues Statement On Arrest of Leonard Agee and Benjamin Jenkins

By  //  June 30, 2016

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Agee, Jenkins ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

Brevard Public Schools was notified of yesterday’s arrest of both Leonard Agee and Benjamin Jenkins hours prior to the press conference conducted by the DEA and immediately took action to suspend coaching responsibilities with a recommendation to terminate future employment.

Brevard Public Schools was notified of yesterday’s arrest of both Leonard Agee and Benjamin Jenkins hours prior to the press conference conducted by the DEA and immediately took action to suspend coaching responsibilities with a recommendation to terminate future employment.

BPS ISSUES DETAILED REVIEW OF SUSPECT’S EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Brevard Public Schools was notified of yesterday’s arrest of both Leonard Agee and Benjamin Jenkins hours prior to the press conference conducted by the DEA and immediately took action to suspend coaching responsibilities with a recommendation to terminate future employment.

We then began to conduct a detailed review of their employment history that included an evaluation of their personnel file, research and conferences with the Florida Department of Education, the State of Florida Certification Department, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and the Titusville Police Department.

“There is an expectation from our community that I provide the highest level of transparency and open communications of both the good and challenging incidents that impact our district,” said Dr. Desmond Blackburn, Brevard Public Schools superintendent.

Dr. Desmond Blackburn

Dr. Desmond Blackburn

“This is why I wanted to release a thorough disclosure of the personnel background of recently arrested BPS employees. The deplorable actions of these individuals does not reflect the character of our 9,000 quality staff members who tirelessly serve the students of Brevard County. I consider these actions as a personal offense that will not be tolerated while I am superintendent and will continue to hold accountable those individuals who would betray our trust in this manner.”

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Through this research, we discovered the following:

Leonard-Agee

Leonard Agee

LEONARD AGEE – Personal Care Assistant and Assistant Football Coach and Track Coach At Titusville High School

• 8/19/2011: Fingerprinted for volunteer community coach.

• 8/24/2011: Denied as volunteer community coach; volunteer status approved after district review.

• 7/1/2013: Florida Department of Education, Coaching Certificate issued.

• 10/01/2013: Community Coach at Titusville High School.

• 3/12/2014: Applied to work at Brevard Public Schools. Criminal history disclosed.

• 4/10/2014: Fingerprinted for formal employment.

• 8/14/2014: Hired as a Personal Care Assistant (non-certificated position) at Titusville High School.

• 9/18/2014: Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate (teacher) application denied.

• 4/1/2015: Reprimand by Florida Department of Education, Office of Professional Practices based on violations of Florida Statute, sections 1012.56 (2)(e), 1012.795(1)(d), 1012.56(12)(a) and 1012.795(1)(f).

• 6/29/2016: Brevard Public Schools letter of termination of employment mailed.

• 6/30/2016: Florida Department of Education, Coaching Certificate expiration.

In summary, he was certified through the State of Florida for his current coaching position and met the qualifications to serve as an instructional assistant.

Benjamin Jenkins

Benjamin Jenkins

BENJAMIN JENKINS – Instructional Assistant: Imperial Estates Elementary and Assistant Football Coach At Titusville High School.

• 8/21/2011: Fingerprinted to be an employee and denied.

• 8/31/2011: Appealed denial; district approved as a community coach at Astronaut High School.

• 7/1/2013: Florida Department of Education, Coaching Certificate issued.

• 9/11/2013: Application for employment.

• 10/1/2013: Football community coach at Titusville High School.

• 1/12/2015: Brevard Public Schools Substitute Teacher.

• 3/20/2015: Instructional Assistant at Imperial Estates Elementary School.

• 11/16/2015: Summary of conference for performance concerns (non-related to current charges).

• 2/16/2016: Oral warning reduced to writing for performance concerns (non-related to current charges).

• 6/29/2016: Brevard Public Schools letter of termination of employment mailed.

• 6/30/2016: Florida Department of Education, Coaching Certificate expiration.

In summary, Jenkins was certified through the State of Florida for his current coaching position. While he met the qualifications to serve as an instructional assistant, we have since discovered that Jenkins did not disclose an 8/13/2004 – misdemeanor Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia on his 9/11/2013 application, which would not disqualify him for employment. However, failure to disclose this information would have eliminated him from consideration for one year.

Brevard Public Schools is committed to review pre-employment and ongoing screening processes of their employees and volunteers. We recognize the impact of a comprehensive vetting process to mitigate risk and bolster the integrity of our workforce. We want to assure the community that since these individuals were hired, new practices have been implemented. We are continuing our assessment through a comprehensive audit of our pre-employment screening protocols.

Our recent updated practices include:

• Zero tolerance policy enacted for any individual who fails to disclose criminal actions, even if these would not exclude them from volunteering or from employment.

• Elimination of appeals for individuals that do not meet district and state hiring guidelines.

• Revision of security background check application to include detailed infractions to ensure all actions are identified.

• Research industry standards to update current security clearance questioning and standards.

• Creation of district-wide, cross-functional pre-employment and volunteering screening processes through district re-organization.

• Ongoing research to automate human resource processes to increase efficiency, reduce errors, and centralize data.

Brevard Public Schools is committed to quality assurance and improved practices to ensure that our 9,000 employees are of the highest moral and ethical character and will continue to review every process currently in place to ensure our students are served with excellence.

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