Reporter

9 counts of abusing students: Substitute teacher worked in nine schools before arrest

Over 850 substitute teachers work in Osceola County, but one is now facing several counts of molestation.

Fnu Syedyaseen-Asher, 19, was first arrested by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office March 1, after a parent of a Boggy Creek Elementary School student notified a school official that her child was molested by a substitute teacher, according to a warrant affidavit.

The document stated that the suspect’s behavior dated back to Feb. 21 when one victim said Asher began drawing a picture of a dolphin at his desk before he touched her private area.

Other victims had similar stories of being molested in the classroom.

The Sheriff’s Office worked with the Osceola County School District to reach students at every school the suspect worked for to identify any additional victims.

He has been fired by the School District, said Dana Schafer, School District spokeswoman.

Syedyaseen-Asher was arrested again March 4 after more victims came forward over the weekend.

Syedyaseen-Asher was hired by the Osceola County School District in December, and worked at nine schools prior to his arrest, including Central Avenue, Flora Ridge, Ventura, Pleasant Hill, Kissimmee and Mill Creek elementary schools; and Kissimmee and Parkway middle schools.

Syedyaseen-Asher is not a U.S. born citizen.

Instead, Syedyaseen-Asher has a United States Permanent Resident card, also known as a Green Card, according to Heather Kahoun, community relations specialist for the Osceola County School District.

According to Kahoun, this card granted the suspect the right to live and work in the United States indefinitely.

Recent events have some parents wondering what it takes to become a substitute teacher in Osceola County.

According to the school district, substitutes must have a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. All candidates receive a level 2 background screening (the same as full-time Osceola County teachers), fingerprinting, a drug test, a reference check and undergo a three-hour training program that addresses school safety and security procedures, educational liability laws, professional responsibilities and ethics, according to Kahoun.

The district uses E-Verify – a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, on potential candidates, Kahoun said.

A check is also done to make sure the applicant is not a sexual predator, Kahoun said.

Osceola County requirements are similar to others in nearby counties.

Some notable differences are:

 In Seminole County, substitutes must undergo mandatory annual training in July and August. Osceola subs only receive initial training.

 In Orange County, substitute teachers are not hired directly by the district, but instead, are hired by Kelly Services, a staffing agency.

 In Lake County, every substitute teacher is required to complete a 20-hour online course.

 In Flagler County, substitute teachers must have a minimum of 60 college credits or an associate’s degree.

Syedyaseen-Asher remains in custody without bond. He now faces nine counts of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim under 12 years old, court records show.

Syedyaseen-Asher had his initial appearance at 1 p.m. March 5 at the Osceola County Courthouse.

Sheriff’s Office officials are asking anyone with information concerning the case to call the agency at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477, where information leading to a felony arrest may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.