Miami-Dade Teacher Claims She Was Fired After Reporting Sex Abuse of Student

A Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher says she was fired after doing the right thing for one of her students.

Diana Castella was a part time teacher under the I-Prep program and days after reporting the student incident, she says she was fired because they told her the program she was working under had no more funds.

"I'm disgusted as a teacher. I'm disgusted with the system," Castella told NBC 6.

Castella, a former Brownsville Middle School teacher, said when a student under 12 years old told her her stepfather lies on top of her, she knew there was more to the story.

According to Castella, unsure of the protocol, she asked another teacher what to do, and the morning after the child confided in her, she reported it to the school counselor.

"The Department of Childhood Services without me in the room then questioned the girl," Castella said.

Castella claims she was then called into the room and the student confessed to multiple molestation incidents. DCF contacted police and an arrest report shows the stepfather was subsequently arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious conduct and molestation on a child.

"On Thursday when I went back to school, the principal called me into her office and told me that I'm under investigation because I didn't report it in a timely manner," Castella said.

According to a Miami-Dade County Schools spokesperson, "The minute someone in the District learns of a potential abuse case, they are required to report it immediately." But Castella says that's not the reason she was given when she was fired.

"In that same sentence she said 'but I don't have any more money for your position," Castella said.

Castella believes the truth behind her being let go has nothing to do with funds.

"Administrators and Miami-Dade County Public Schools don't like snitchers. They like everything to be brushed under the rug," Castella said. "I became a teacher for my students. I didn't become a teacher to save the reputation of a school."

NBC 6 asked MDCPS if any other teachers in the program were also terminated because of lack of funds, and a spokesperson said she is looking into that. As for Castella, she says at a minimum the school should have found a way to keep a teacher who did the right thing.

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