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A&M-Commerce music professor dies following allegations from former Florida high school student

Monday Morning Newscast stock image: The President's House at Texas A&M University-Commerce
Lindsey Wiley
/
Texas A&M University-Commerce

An alumna of Southwest Miami Senior High School, where Guzman worked from 2008-11, publicly accused him of sexually abusing her while she was a student.

A Texas A&M University-Commerce music professor has died. Friday afternoon (May 31), A&M-Commerce president Dr. Mark Rudin sent an email to the university community announcing the death of Assistant Director of Bands Michael Guzman. No details regarding the time, place, and manner of Guzman’s death were mentioned.

Guzman’s death apparently followed a social media post made Thursday (May 30) morning. A former high school student of Guzman’s posted allegations on Facebook that Guzman sexually abused her while Guzman was her band director in Florida. Guzman was band director at Southwest Miami Senior High School from 2008 to 2011. The student, Jackie Rodriguez, said the sexual abuse began when she was 15 years old and continued until she was 18 or 19. The post also detailed emotional and financial abuse.

The email from Dr. Rudin said “We understand this news and the allegations against Mr. Guzman are upsetting. We are committed to ensuring the safety, well-being, and integrity of everyone in our campus community . . . “

The message went on to say “We understand that recent events may also have caused distress . . . concerning instances of sexual abuse. Our hearts go out to anyone who has been affected by such reprehensible acts.” That from the announcement sent Friday. The email also said the university was investigating the matter.

Guzman was hired by A&M-Commerce in 2023. Before coming to Commerce, Guzman was director of bands at Hewitt-Trussville High School, in Alabama. Guzman worked there from 2020 to 2023.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.