A Florida teacher was arrested after classroom surveillance footage showed him giving a 10-year-old boy candy in exchange for a kiss on the lips, police said.
Teacher Brian Kornbluth, 28, had the exchange with the elementary school student in February before class started for the day. The surveillance video was taken after a teacher told the school principal that Kornbluth made unusual requests to be alone with male students, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Police quickly arrested the teacher, and he pleaded guilty to battery in the case last week. After media outlets filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking for the video in the incident, police released the surveillance footage yesterday, blurring out the boy to protect his identity.
“Understandably, many folks have been asking about why we released a video in the ‘teacher-student kissing case,’” said Boca Police Chief Dan Alexander on Facebook Tuesday. “The short answer is because the media asked for it and we have to release it.”
“So, the video didn't simply ‘surface,’” he continued. “We didn't just put it out there to spice up your Tuesday. Some folks in the media think it is important for you to see it, so we follow the law to the best of our ability. Please direct your feedback to the appropriate media outlets. Thank you.”
Many Facebook users then commented on the post, critical of the media’s handling of the video.
“It's a shame the classLESS news chooses to air something that could compromise a child's privacy,” one person said.
“We understand it's the law but I would like to think there could have been some way to prevent this from getting into the hands [of the] media,” one woman calling herself a Somerset mom commented. “What ever happened to the safety of our children first? When a minor is involved there must be some loophole. In no way am I upset with you just the situation.”
“Denise we understand your frustration,” the Boca Raton Police Facebook page responded. “We too are frustrated. But unfortunately we would be in violation of state law. Here in Florida the Sunshine Laws 119 are very broad. The child's name is also public information but we asked the media not to release it and before we released the video we blurred it… it's all we could do… please don't blame us… blame the media that insisted we release it. We don't make the laws.”
Oxygen is choosing not to publish the video. Though the blurring is extensive and appears to protect the child’s identity, the news value of the video seems questionable to us.
[Image: Boca Raton Police Department]