JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Parents at Greenfield Elementary School are concerned after hearing about the arrest of one of their teachers. "It's extremely scary when you send them to school and you trust that they're going to be okay all day. And you hear something like this is completely terrifying," says parent Patty Jurgensen.
61-year-old Michael Worrell was arrested at his home Tuesday night, after three children came forward saying Worrell had sexually assaulted them at local hotels. Worrell was a fourth grade teacher at Greenfield Elementary School.
Action News has learned he was removed from his classroom August 22nd, 13 days before he was arrested on sexual battery charges.
So why was he removed so quickly and before his arrest? "When these scenarios develop from now on since they've already taken into consideration those missteps that happened before absolutely this is a better scenario." A. Wellington Barlow represents a victim who says he was sexually abused by another local teacher, Christopher Bacca.
Bacca is accused of abusing one of his own students. Since his arrest, Action News uncovered the fact that Bacca was under investigation for a similar incident back in 2009. The school district took him out of the class at the time, but only moved him to another elementary school. They claimed they weren't armed with enough information about the case.
So in the last few weeks, the school district put a new plan in place. From now on, there will be increased communication between the school, the Department of Children and Families, and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
"One of the things that's happening now that didn't happen before Bacca's case is that parents know that they're equipped and they have the right to go down to the school board and check the file of each and every instructor their kids have," says Barlow.
Open communication, and a quick response is something these parents say is a welcome change. "We need to make sure our kids are safe," says parent Rick Davis.