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North Fort Myers teacher resigns amid investigation

Accused of sending inappropriate messages
Posted at 8:56 AM, Jan 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-26 06:33:38-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A North Fort Myers High School teacher resigned, Thursday, amid an investigation into inappropriate messages he allegedly sent to recently-graduated students.

The former teacher, Scott Kilhefner, was outed by a former student, Taylor Reaves, who he taught in 11th grade. She now goes to college in Orlando, telling 4 In Your Corner the messages started immediately after she graduated from North Fort Myers High. She was still 17 at the time. "It started off as really overly friend remarks," she said.

Recently, Reaves received messaged allegedly from Kilhefner again. This time, messages were more explicit. One read,  'I want you very badly. No longer a teen...20.' Reaves recalls another message, that read, "You can send me sexy selfies whenever you want, I won't let anybody know." 

Reaves took to Facebook to make the messages public. Soon after, dozens of young women reached out, saying Kilhefner did the same to them. Reaves was shocked she was not alone in what she describes as harassment. "How do you know when all of these people graduate? How do you know when they all turn 18?" she said. "Honestly, I do feel like he does put children in danger in the classroom."

Ciara Lyman, another former North Fort Myers High student, said she received similar messages, allegedly from Kilhefner. "He said, 'add me?' and I said 'wait, aren't you a teacher?' ...And he said 'wait, you didn't graduate? If not, don't add me. I thought you did and you were over 18,'" Lyman read aloud.

Lyman felt uncomfortable, believing the sender was unaware whether he was messaging a minor or not. "It's just so weird to me that he preys on young girls and can't tell if they're 18 or 21." 

4 In Your Corner consulted with experts at Fort Myers' Abuse Counseling & Treatment center. Clinical Director Liana Calderin believes the behavior is unacceptable, given the teacher's position of power. "I see some premeditation in the individual, where he is planning this," she said. "I think whoever was the student who came out and said this is happening, and reached out for help, they should be proud of themselves for making a difference."

The Lee County School District began an investigation just hours after initial allegations. They provided 4 In Your Corner the following statement around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, Thursday: 

When a former student notified the District yesterday of Scott Kilhefner’s social media posts, immediate action was taken to remove him from the classroom.

"Today, Kilhefner resigned his position with the School District of Lee County. We will give all of the information we have collected in our investigation to the Florida Department of Education who holds his certification, and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The School District of Lee County is committed to the safety of our students, and expects all staff to adhere to the highest ethical practices and conduct."

Reaves said she is not sorry for what she did, but feels sorry for Kilhefner and his family. She hopes his bad decisions do not reflect badly on North Fort Myers High School, a school she said she is extremely proud to have graduated from.