Odyssey: (noun) a long and eventful or adventurous journey or experience. There is some debate whether Homer’s “The Odyssey” is a tragedy, a comedy, or an epic; Odyssey Charter School appears to be all 3.
This journey began with one simple parent complaint submitted to us to “take a look at.” We took a look, and there is much to see about what is going on at this charter school.
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Odyssey Charter not only appears to be a safe place for teachers and administrators with criminal histories, academic shortcomings, formal written reprimands from the state of Florida, fired or resigned in-leu-of, uncertified in the subjects they teach, and individuals on probation; it appears to be a place where those individuals are actually advanced to leadership positions.
As we reported earlier that their teacher of the year was arrested for domestic violence in January, their new principal was arrested and admitted to a felony of stealing drugs for years from other teachers (and not qualified to attain a state certification as a principal). Last night while going through the few remaining staff they have, we learned that the only assistant principal Odyssey Charter Jr/Sr High has returning next year is currently on probation by the Florida Department of Education for the actions he took as the A.P. at Palm Bay High.
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According to public records, MICHAEL GUEVARA entered into a settlement agreement on March 8, 2022 for demonstrating a history violently and improperly restraining students at Palm Bay High. Most notably cited was his practice of restraining children on the ground by repeatedlyusing his forearm across student’s throats.
The complaint outlined 3 specific allegations but stated there may be more.
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It is not immediately clear if he resigned or was terminated from his position at Brevard Public Schools, but he was quickly hired by Odyssey Charter School to serve as their Dean and then Assistant Principal. He is returning next year to work under Mr. Mike Davis, the new principal we referenced before.
Yesterday we reported that 12 teachers/staff members have resigned from the school, that number today grew to 13.
We also learned that one teacher today was escorted off campus by police and Mr. Davis when she ripped up a document they asked her to sign promising not to sue or disparage Odyssey and its partners. The staff initially read the document to the teacher and asked her to then sign it, which essentially discussed final pay and returning equipment, which she did. It wasn’t until later that the teacher realized that the entire document was not read to her.
Most troubling is that the document appears to imply that in order to receive their remaining pay, that the employee must agree to the terms in the document which include not ever being able to sue, even if it is found later that the employee was discriminated against, wrongfully terminated, the school breached their contract, or broke any other employment laws.
The teacher returned to the office to see the original form (which had whiteout on it now) and asked why the staff member intentionally didn’t read her those parts of the agreement. After being told it was “no big deal,” the teacher ripped up the agreement stating she does not agree to those terms.
She then says she was then escorted off property by law enforcement and administration citing her “aggressiveness” as the reason.
We continue to receive more information from current and former staff, as well as parents about concerns about Odyssey and the owner Constance Ortiz.
We will continue to report on these findings as documentation becomes available to support the allegations.