RIALTO - Rialto Unified teachers who had complaints filed against them in the last five years have either cleaned up their acts or are no longer teaching at the district, according to district officials.
On Jan. 13, the San Bernardino Sun ran an installment of its Safe Schools series, looking at the complaints over the last five years against teachers in the district. In all, 18 complaints were made against employees during that time. The special project follows the revelations of the sexual abuse scandal at Miramonte School in South Los Angeles earlier in 2012.
The series is based on documents requested from 19 Inland Empire school districts concerning complaints of teacher misconduct. Not all of the reports released to the Sun included the fate of the teachers who were written up. Rialto Unified Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services Felix Avila later filled in those blanks. For legal reasons, the district kept the names of the teachers involved out of their reports.
A female Rialto High School teacher had a pattern of verbally berating and insulting students every few years:
When he objected she yelled "don't tell me how to talk to you" and "(expletive) you and (expletive) your daddy and mama!"
She then submitted a written statement, which, according to the district, "minimized the magnitude of your misconduct."
The teacher has been disciplined and there have been no further incidents reported since, according to Avila.
The morning newspaper
During an August 2006, staff meeting at Eisenhower High School, a male history teacher angrily and loudly refused to put his newspaper away, calling the assistant principal who asked him to do so a jerk. The teacher received a letter of reprimand and there have been no further incidents reported, Avila said.
In October 2011, the district sent a letter to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which controls teacher credentials in California, letting them know a male teacher had been placed on a compulsory leave of absence after he was charged with two felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under the age of 14, three felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a child 14 or 15 years old and three felony counts of oral copulation with a person under age 16.
The teacher is no longer employed by the district, according to Avila.
A male teacher received a letter of reprimand in March 2010, after female students complained he acted inappropriately toward them and made them feel uncomfortable. The teacher reportedly massaged their shoulders, "ogled" or "leered" at them and told a student that she reminded him of his wife. The letter directed the teacher, in part, to "refrain from inappropriate staring at students, including but not limited to staring at female students' chests and buttocks." This was his third such letter of reprimand: He had previously been reprimanded for the same issue in November 2008 and January 2009.
The 2010 reprimand apparently did the trick: There have been no further incidents reported, according to Avila.
A male Rialto High School history teacher received a letter of reprimand in February 2010, after a year and a half of flirtations with a female student whom the district said he failed to adequately discourage. The girl had told him she had a crush on him, and would spend afternoons in his classroom until as late as 7 p.m. The girl asked for hugs from the teacher, slept with a jacket of his that he had loaned her on a cold winter afternoon and, in December of that year, kissed her on the cheek.
There have been no further issues with the teacher, according to Avila.
In April 2007, an administrator at Boyd Elementary School was written up addressing a colleague in a "rude, demeaning and disrespectful manner," arguing with her about a survey he was conducting.
This wasn't the first time this had been an issue: The administrator had previously received a memo in his file on May 25, 2005, addressing complaints from staff at the school that he was "demeaning, rude and disrespectful," creating "an intimidating, hostile working environment."
It was the last time, though: "The administrator is no longer in the district," Avila said.
A Rialto High football coach received a letter of reprimand in October 2010, after he required about 50 freshman football players to pony up $100 each for a "Spirit Pack" of football equipment. The coach had bypassed the district's approval and oversight process for fundraising activities, didn't record funds received or issue receipts, failed to turn in the money in a timely fashion and paid for items for adults using student funds.
"The teacher has been disciplined and there have been no further incidents reported," Avila said.
Drinking at lunch
In April 2007, a group of Rialto High School employees went to a Japanese restaurant in Colton to celebrate one employee's birthday. At the restaurant, several employees saw a teacher drinking at lunch. When the rest of the group returned for student dismissal at the end of the day, the employee remained behind, and never called in to let his supervisor know he wouldn't be returning to high school that day. He received a letter of reprimand from the principal.
There have been no further problems reported, according to Avila.
Resignations without details
On Dec. 21, 2010, the district sent letters to two teachers, telling each that the Commission on Teacher Credentialing would be told of the circumstances surrounding their resignations. The district did not appear to attach any additional information.
Both teachers tendered their resignations following allegations of unprofessional conduct, Avila said.
Unauthorized use of force
In December 2006, a written warning was to a female teacher. A mother had complained that the teacher "inappropriately applied physical force" to her son and the classmate.
"The teacher is no longer with the district," according to the assistant superintendent.