Boca Raton middle school teacher fired for naming students ‘Beavis’, ‘Oompa Loompa’ and ’four-eyes'
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA: After only one year on the job, Victor Lopez, a teacher at Boca Raton Community Middle School in Florida, was fired on September 21, 2022, due to what the school administration described as "inappropriate interactions" with pupils, calling them with insensitive names such as “Beavis” and “Oompa Loompa.”
This comes after it was claimed that math instructor Lopez, 49, occasionally shoved and flicked pupils, even putting them in chokeholds. "School has many benefits. It should not be an intimidating place for anybody," Lori Kaniek, a student at Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, told WPTV. "I don't think any child should ever be touched, even in a joking manner," she added. "It definitely crosses the line. It could hurt a child. A child probably doesn't feel comfortable speaking up and it puts them in a position where they have to against the teacher, and that could affect their grades and success going forward," Kaniek stated.
A total of 16 kids were the subject of a school district inquiry after they complained that Lopez had given them nicknames including "four-eyes," "Oompa Loompa" and "Beavis" which some claimed were disrespectful of their looks. Inappropriate physical contact was reported by 12 out of the 16 students who were questioned. According to eight of the sixteen students interviewed, improper comments and/or jokes were made. Also, eight of the 16 pupils who were interviewed said they had heard offensive jokes or comments from Lopez.
As per WPTV, the email Lopez wrote to the School District of Palm Beach County read, "Honestly, the only thing I should be questioned on is my sarcasm. The difference this year is that I made the conscious effort to use methods that would make sure students felt safe, cared for and that I created an atmosphere where kids really wanted to learn...with an authentic feel to it. I teach middle schoolers. I love what I do. If I have to adjust, and not use social media or TV movie or meme usage of our time, then so be it. Trying to have fun with the kids and promoting a learning environment is my ultimate goal."
Unless Lopez files a written appeal, his dismissal will take effect on October 18, 2022. His unpaid suspension started on Thursday, September 22, 2022. Even if he files an appeal, the suspension is sustained throughout the legal procedure.
Previously, Lopez was given a 10-day suspension at Loggers Run Middle School, where he had worked earlier in October 2021 for "striking or tapping students playfully with a yardstick," according to school district investigation papers.
If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.