Meet former Charlotte County Deputy Gordon Eldridge, who was a school resource counselor at L.A. Ainger Middle School in Rotonda West, Florida. As a school resource counselor, Gordon Eldridge was in charge of looking after the well being of the students. He had posted on his website tips for parents and students and also posted an alert to be aware of the growing epidemic of "sexting", where teens send sexually explicit text and pictures to each other.
Evidently Gordon Eldridge knew quite a lot about this practice of "sexting" himself, as he's now found himself in hot water over a text he sent to a 14 year old middle school student. The text he sent?
"Start stripping and dance on the tables . . . and send pics!"Niiiice.
And apparently this isn't the first time his inappropriate behavior caught the attention of his superiors. Prior to the text being sent, the same 14 year old girl had reported to a different school resource counselor that Gordon Eldridge made her feel uncomfortable by putting his hand over her mouth. He was given a warning by his supervisor to avoid contact with the girl but it didn't end there. In the days following he picked her up for dinner and drove her to the high school football game. Allegedly there are even more inappropriate texts from Eldridge to the girl.
And if that weren't bad enough, and it is quite bad enough already, Eldridge took to the comments section in the local news article about this story to defend himself. In doing so, he not only practically admits to doing everything that's been alleged, but he tries to put all the blame on the 14 year old middle school student. Bad move.
Here's Gorden Eldridge's comment in its entirety:
Gordon Eldridge: "I have tried to post this several times.Does this guy really think anyone's going to read all that and end up agreeing that he did nothing wrong? You're a school resource counselor at a middle school for chrissakes. Maybe we could understand if you were at a high school and there's a couple hot seniors or something, even then of course that's still wrong, but middle school? Come on dude, you can't explain your way out of this one.
but every time it would disappear.
Here are the FACTS of this case.
It is now public record and I can comment.
The girl is a PAL junior councellor so.
I have contact with her weekly. She told me.
that she wants to be in Law Enforcement and.
wants to join the explorers.
It is not unusual for SRO's to take PAL kids to.
various functions in our cruisers.
She texted me if I was working the football game.
... when I said yes. she asked if I could pick her.
up at PAL and give her a ride to the game.
I told her I would. I told her that the days I work.
details I go to eat. I asked her if she wanted.
to go eat or I could pick her up after I eat.
She later texted me asking if I could give her.
a ride home. I said that I would. She told me.
that her mom was aware of the rides and going.
She said that she would go eat and brought her.
We went to the Country Hound Restaurant and.
sat in the middle of the restaurant. The
place was full. SHe commented on the fact that.
other students were working there and thought.
she could get a job there.
We ate and each paid for our own meals.
We then went to the game. She left with her friends.
while 3 other deputies and I worked the game.
After the game I gave her a ride home. I
have not have any one on one contact since then.
She texted me several times mostly about having.
a new boy friend.
I did sent ONE and only ONE inappropriate TEXT.
to the girl. It was in response to a text she.
sent me that she was bored. I sent a stupid.
quick response as a joke. It was in poor taste.
using adult humor and I immediately sent her an apology. She Accepted.
She later sent another text asking about another SRO.
because she missed speaking with her.
There was no apparent discomfort with texting me.
Four days later she went to the SRO at the high school.
stating she was uncomfortable with the text she had.
received from me. She tried to recant after she learned.
that the SRO supervisor was going to be contacted. She
did not want to get anyone in trouble.
I also learned that she loves to be the center of attention.
this was another attempt to be the center of attention.
She was interviewed by Major Crimes Detectives They found.
NO CRIME was committed. This was verified by the State.
Attorney and the family was notified over the Thanksgiving.
break. The Family was not willing to accept this...
On Monday 11/28 I went to a scheduled interview with the.
CCSO investigator with my FOP Union Rep. During the meeting.
We learned that SNN had been contacted by the girls family.
asking to verify that a deputy was under investigation for.
SEXTING middle school and high school students.
At this point I was damaged beyond repair regardless of.
I offered my resignation due to the perception of what.
people would think, regardless of the whole truth due.
to the media.
This is all public record at CCSO."