JACKSONVILLE Fla. -- Christopher Bacca was supposed to be someone a parent could trust with their child. He was declared teacher of the year, and beloved by his students, but DCF says behind all of the pomp and circumstance, there could be a child predator.
Not once, but twice, Christopher Bacca formed "special relationships" with students.
"There were activities that were going on with the family outside the school environment and that's how he got in with the student," said one alleged victim's attorney, A. Wellington Barlow.
It's a scary thought for any parent. Who can you trust with your child, if you can't trust their teacher?
"Sometimes educators take a special interest in certain kids that they see certain potential in the children."
"But then there are others who use those types of relationships to get in close and foster some type of criminality and that's what happened in this case."
So how can you tell the difference between a good mentor and a potential molester? Local psychologist Lynn Wadelton says it's almost impossible because kids rarely give any clues. Instead, prevention is key.
"Basically everybody should be safety proofing," said Wadelton.
Make sure your kid is never alone with one adult, they should travel in groups.
"Not staying in group settings another big red flag they should be interested in other kids like they are interested in your child they should be interested in being around other adults who also enjoy children not one," said Wadelton.
Also, Wadelton says it's important to get involved. It's important for parents to be part of the teacher-student relationship.
"It needs to be something where it has those boundaries respected where the adult who's caring about your child is communicating with you the parent and is telling you about your child."
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