7/14/2008

Four Teachers From Same School Arrested for Sex With Students! - Helix High School

How many teacher sex scandals does it take to close a school? The answer in Southern California may be four in the last two years. All four incidents have happened at Helix High School which is a charter school. For those of you not familiar with charter schools, the are a cross between public and private schools, sometimes operated by religious groups, but using public money . . . just like public schools. Anyway, to get set up they have to get a "charter" from some oversight organization (usually a university) that helps set up their program. Most are pretty new, are small in size, have a lot of new, inexperienced teachers and staff . . . and sometimes it shows, like at Helix High School where four teachers have been arrested for having sex with students since 2006. Things are so bad, the local school board is thinking about pulling their charter and closing the school down. One plus in all of this: two of the teachers had sex with the same girl, so only three kids were involved, but four teachers. Okay, now that we think about it, that's not really a plus, just another odd twist in an already odd story.
Here's more from CBS 8:
Specifically, the Grossmont Board is demanding Helix's governing Board address the four cases of misconduct, training planned or already provided, changes to employee and student oversight and supervision to prevent inappropriate relationships between staff members and students.
"We are going to fulfill our oversight responsibilities and we are going to ensure that Helix High School is a safe place for kids," district vice president Dick Hoy said.
Four teachers have been accused of sex-related crimes involving students since late 2006. In December 2006, former music teacher Frank Palumbo was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old female student and was sentenced to five years probation.
Earlier this year, ex-band director Jessica Kahal got three years probation after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 17-year-old male student.
In May, geography teacher Garry Wilcox was arrested on suspicion of having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He pleaded guilty and has a July 22 trial date.
Finally, business teacher Jeff Wenham resigned after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the same student allegedly involved with Wilcox. Wenham has not been arrested nor charged with any crime, and his case in being reviewed by the district attorney's office.

Thanks to William B. for the link!