Ex-Santaluces coach loses license over ‘naked’ request to student


The state has permanently revoked the teaching certificate of a girls basketball coach who was fired from Santaluces High in 2015 for sending a 17-year-old student an electronic message that read in part that he wanted to see her naked, according to state and school district records.

While investigators confirmed Garrick Black sent the message, they found no evidence of anything criminal – there were no allegations of physical contact, no allegations of explicit photos being exchanged.

Black said Friday that the accusations were false, “I understand what the police report says. But I just got caught up in something. I was really nervous and scared (when police questioned him). I didn’t have anything to do with that. I didn’t even write that.”

After he lost his job, Black, who said he hasn’t worked in a school since, contends he didn’t realize that the police findings would be used to pursue his teaching certification and that he missed the notifications that were mailed to him. For those reasons, Black said he hasn’t had an opportunity to defend himself against these allegations.

Black, a basketball player at Boynton Beach High almost a decade earlier, had been coaching at Santaluces for a couple of years, but his position was considered part-time or temporary. He did not teach any classes, Palm Beach County School District records show.

When first confronted by investigators about the message sent via Instagram, Black, who is now 28, denied knowing the girl and sending the message, police reported. But Instagram confirmed the source of the message was his account, authorities had a screenshot of the message and Black eventually conceded to sending it, they reported.

It was a friend of the girl’s who alerted an assistant principal to the message and triggered the investigation. The girl, whose name was removed from the report because of her age, said the coach began following her Instagram account in the spring of 2014.

She told police that Black had sent her direct messages through that account a couple of times, once admonishing her for fighting – she’d been suspended for fighting at the time, and another commenting on a picture she posted of a woman in a black tank “who had noticeable piercings on her breasts.” The student told police the message from Black “said something to the effect of ‘Hope is not a picture of you” because, she said he implied, “people might think you’re a freak or hoe.”

When the girl in December posted a photo of herself in shorts and a sports bra, Black messaged again, instructing her to take down the photo because it was inappropriate and made her “look grown.” She fired back that he was not her father and couldn’t tell her what to do. Later, he wrote, “It’s still in my head I want to see you naked…”

On the advice of a friend, the girl then blocked Black from her account. Months later, in March, a student tipped the assistant principal. Black was fired in June 2015.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

It’s not all about the turkey: 9 things you probably didn't know about Thanksgiving
It’s not all about the turkey: 9 things you probably didn't know about Thanksgiving

Each year, Thanksgiving comes around with with the giddy anticipation of devoruing comfort food and spending some QT with loved ones, which reminds you just what what you are thankful for the most. The rich, deep history of this centuries-old tradition is woven into the United States' cultural fabric, yet, there are still many aspects of the holiday...
Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree
Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

While it may never reach the level of controversy of how to hang the toilet paper roll or which way to load the dishwasher, the right time to put up the Christmas tree is a heavily-debated household topic. There are answers to this question that depend on everything from Prince Albert to the opinion of tree growers to something called Adelaide...
BREAKING: Man shot to death in Boynton Beach
BREAKING: Man shot to death in Boynton Beach

A man was shot and killed Sunday night at a Boynton Beach park where an estimated 50 people had assembled. The man, who was not identified by Boynton Beach Police, was found shortly after 8 p.m. when police responded to a call of shots fired at Caloosa Park, 1300 S.W. 35th Ave. Officers saw about 50 people quickly dispersing from a basketball court...
NEW: Protesters decry alleged animal abuse at Monkey Jungle
NEW: Protesters decry alleged animal abuse at Monkey Jungle

Closed since Hurricane Irma caused damage in September, Monkey Jungle is still drawing crowds. Unfortunately for the southern Miami-Dade County tourist attraction, the 50 people who showed up Sunday were there to protest what have been called "abysmal" conditions in which hundreds of animals live. A former employee recently accused the 80-year-old...
UPDATE: Toddler dies after being found in suburban Boca pond
UPDATE: Toddler dies after being found in suburban Boca pond

A toddler pulled from a pond in a suburban Boca Raton development Sunday afternoon has died, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Teri Barbera, director of public information for the sheriff’s office, said detectives are investigating the events that led to the child ending up in the pond. Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews...
More Stories