Nationally recognized Teacher of the Year, Raemon Matthews, was found guilty of taking risqué photos of a student and then sexually abusing the girl. The award-winning Samuel Gompers High School teacher was banned from his Bronx classroom after the sexual wrongdoing claims surfaced.
Former US Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, praised Matthews, 57, when he toured the Bronx high school in 2002. As a result of the visit, Raemon went on a trip to Washington DC to illustrate his interdisciplinary lessons and use of multimedia techniques in the classroom. He has also been cited in numerous books on effective teaching. He was named Teacher of the Year not once, but twice.
The NYC Department of Education found that the Bronx history teacher intimidated a female student and engaged in sexual activities with the young women including fondling her genitals and breasts, according to the Daily Mail. The renowned educator reportedly coerced the 17-year-old student into posing for racy pictures by telling her it would attract employers and college recruiters.
Raemon Matthews plead guilty to sexual abuse charges and was sentenced to one year of probation. He worked in the Samuel Gompers High School district for more than a decade. The married teacher enticed the student to participate in the private photography sessions by telling her she needed extra academic help and was in danger of failing, the New York Daily News reports.
The female student reportedly tried to get Matthews to stop the sex abuse and explicit photography sessions after a year. The Teacher of the Year allegedly stated, “No bo-boo, we’re just getting started,” according to victim statements.
The victim had this to say about the sexual misconduct by the Samuel Gompers High School teacher:
“It was hard for me, it was like a big trauma. I didn’t want anybody to know because I was embarrassed.”
The Bronx high school is located in an impoverished neighborhood which serves a predominantly minority student population. Matthews often offered students extra tutoring sessions and stayed late in his classroom after the school day ended. The investigation into the Raemon Matthews’ sex abuse claims began after a janitor found a CD containing photos of the student in various stages of undress.