Coral Springs, FL – The principal of a high-dollar private college prep school has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing one of her male students.
Tracy Smith, 43, had worked as Head of School at the Xceed Preparatory Academy on University Drive for nearly three years prior to her recent termination, CBS News reported.
According to court documents, the student told investigators he reached out to Smith in October of 2022 to ask for help with his studies.
He said he began studying in her office and taking tests there, and that he eventually started talking to her about family issues, CBS News reported.
The boy said Smith confided in him about her own personal issues and that they grew very close.
He said he considered her to be like a mother figure to him, and that he initially found it to be comforting when she began touching him, CBS News reported.
Investigators said the boy told them he and Smith eventually started touching one another during the study sessions, but that he became uncomfortable with what was occurring as time went on.
Police said Smith and the victim sent each other suggestive messages on Snapchat and other apps, WEAR reported.
The boy said he also sent Smith a shirtless photo and that she sent him images of her wearing a bikini.
He said that over time, he felt their relationship had begun to negatively affect his schoolwork, CBS News reported.
The victim also noted that he felt guilty because Smith was paying attention to him to the detriment of the rest of the school.
Smith was arrested on April 17 on a felony charge of soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct by an authority figure, the Miami Herald reported.
She was released from jail on $25,000 bond and is prohibited from stepping foot on school property or contacting the victim, according to CBS News.
Smith is also barred from having contact with any minors with the exception of her family members, FOX News reported.
She faces up to 15 years in prison if she is convicted, according to the Miami Herald.
Smith, who has been an educator for nearly 20 years, has been fired from her position at the school, according to the school’s attorney, Brian Bieber.
“Everyone at the school was shocked and surprised by the allegations,” Bieber told CBS News. “No one had any inclination this was going on – if it was. She’s been terminated. That happened immediately after her arrest. That happened yesterday right in front of the school.”
The attorney said the school and staff members are cooperating with law enforcement.
“A safe learning environment is paramount at XCEED – with no exceptions,” he said.