The Osceola Police Department last week announced that an investigation into an Osceola school teacher’s conduct had concluded, bringing the teacher’s resignation but no immediate criminal conviction. The investigation started December sixth, after Polk County Social Services notified the Osceola Police Department that students had reported inappropriate behavior by Osceola Intermediate School music teacher Mark Swiontek.
Initially, three female students reported to school staff that interactions with Swiontek made them uncomfortable. School staff reported the information to Polk County Social Services, which initiated an investigation via the Osceola Police Department.
The Osceola Police Department interviewed approximately three dozen individuals, most of them Osceola Intermediate and Middle School students, and sent the results to the Polk County District Attorney’s Office for review.
On Friday, January fifth, the Osceola police and school district were notified that Swiontek had agreed to a deferred prosecution. This type of agreement is an alternative to formal court judgment, with the prosecutor granting amnesty in exchange for the defendant’s word to fulfill a set of terms. The agreement stipulated that Swiontek resign his position with the school district and prohibits him from teaching in a public or private school for six years. Once the terms of the agreement are fulfilled, the charges will be dismissed.