Middle school teacher arrested after girls claimed he touched them inappropriately

Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – These are allegations that would shock any parent: a middle school teacher was arrested after multiple young girls came forward claiming he touched them inappropriately.

These young girls claimed their teacher took it upon himself to help them readjust their outfits. Now they’re so horrified, one of the students wants to get counseling.

34-year-old Maxwell Guss is a business teacher and volleyball coach at Brookside Middle School.

In September, two of his students complained about him to authorities.

“Two students had found the courage to come forward and let us know of some inappropriate behavior that had gone on involving Guss,” said Sarasota Police Department spokesman Genevieve Judge.

One girl claimed he pulled on her bra strap, telling her to tighten it. Another claimed Guss readjusted her sweater and touched her inappropriately.

He was placed on paid administrative leave, and on Monday, more than two months later, he was arrested and charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct.

Parents are shocked.

“That’s not appropriate. It shouldn’t be happening in the school system at all,” said parent Michelle Spencer.

Guss has worked at other schools in the region, and in 2017, he was accused of inappropriately touching a female student at Sarasota High.

“That inappropriate behavior was never reported to law enforcement by school administrators,” said Judge.

8 On Your Side went looking for answers and asked a school district official.

“Actually we have no recollection, no records of any complaints filed by students in 2017. The only mishap that was reported verbally was the fact that Mr. Guss had hit a student over the head, she had a hoodie on, and he was asking her to please remove it,” said school district spokeswoman, Tracey Beeker.

The school district is investigating. Meanwhile, police need the public’s help because they believe there could be more victims.

The case is still under investigation. If you have any information, call the Sarasota Police Department.

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