Ventura County News

Simi Valley teacher investigated for alleged inappropriate relationship with student

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Simi Valley elementary school teacher has been put on administrative leave after allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with a student. A police investigation has been launched.

Simi Valley Police say school district officials alerted authorities about the alleged relationship on Feb. 28. The unidentified teacher was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Parents at Garden Grove Elementary School received a letter informing them that the teacher was being investigated. Administrators are staying tight-lipped about the investigation.

"It's presently an investigation by the Simi Valley Police Department, and until there is a conclusion we are not going to make any comments," said Simi Valley Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Cary Dritz.

Some parents say they don't believe the allegations that the teacher had an inappropriate relationship with a sixth-grade student, and that they would not think twice about keeping their kids at the school.

"I feel safe with my kids being here," said parent Cori Varola. "She's a wonderful teacher, a wonderful person, she cares about her students, she cares about the school."

"I'm very disturbed by the whole situation, in the fact that people no longer, in our community or state, can be good teachers, because you are no longer innocent until proven guilty," said parent Mindy Verdina.

"We are not releasing any information about the details of the relationship, other than the fact that we are investigating a relationship between a teacher and a student," said Simi Valley Police Sergeant Craig Dungan.

Parents did receive a second letter providing them with a tip sheet on how to talk to their kids about the incident.

The teacher was not identified due to the ongoing investigation.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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