Photo: Andrés Correa Guatarasma / Courtesy
Teacher Jessenia Zapata and her married boss Sergio Herrera have been singled out for using PS 197 Elementary School where they work in Far Rockaway, Queens (NYC) as their “personal hotel”.
The couple allegedly had intimacy in various areas of the campus, from the library to the science labs, sometimes while the children were in class, and threatened employees who found out, various sources denounced the New York Post.
Officials of the City Department of Education (DOE) now they are investigating Deputy Director Herrera and his subordinate Zapata. “This is a school run by fear”, said one of the nearly dozen people who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity. “Everyone is afraid to say something. We don’t know what else to do ”.
The concerned teachers contacted their union representatives late last year and an investigation was launched in January and is ongoing. The Special Investigation Commissioner (SCI) is in possession of text messages that indicate that Herrera and Zapata had sexual relations in their school building during working days, the sources said.
“I just had sex with him in his office”, Zapata wrote to a colleague during a school day in October 2019. “Now we are in the library. Girl, it was worth the risk. “
The venue changed to a science room on another occasion, according to a message. “We just had sex in the lab … in the closet,” Zapata wrote in a December 2019 message viewed by The Post.
Several members of the school staff said they were dismayed. “How is a parent going to feel knowing this is happening at their children’s school?” asked a teacher. “It is totally inappropriate and it shows that (they) feel they can do anything ”.
Sources said Herrera and Zapata also once planned declare yourself “sick” the same day to meet in a hotel. The Assistant Principal’s Wife Herrera eventually learned of the matter and furiously alerted her boss, Christina Villavicencio, in 2020, sources said.
“Our schools must be safe havens for all students and staff, and these are very troubling allegations,” said the DOE spokesperson, Katie O’Hanlon. “Immediately after these allegations were reported, the teacher was reassigned to a different supervisor and there is a ongoing independent investigation to determine the appropriate next steps ”.
School sources said that Zapata and Herrera still appear together in meetings via Zoom related to the curriculum and maintain close professional ties. Zapata declined to comment on the accusations and Herrera could not be located by the press.
In a similar case, earlier this month in Yonkers (NY) a Hispanic school employee filed a federal lawsuit alleging that her boss forced her to take erotic photos and other complicities, within the workplace, considered a “Model school” in the region.
— Kitty (@kittybravofan) June 24, 2021
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.