Ongoing coverage of child abuse in schools

Long Beach Substitute Teacher Removed Amid Allegations of Misconduct

Letters from the principal of Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School informed parents of the latest abuse scandal in Southland schools

By John Cadiz Klemack and Samantha Tata
|  Friday, Apr 20, 2012  |  Updated 6:41 PM PDT
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Parent Rosalin Victor says misconduct allegations against a Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School substitute teacher are "sad." That teacher was terminated after a student reported seeing a hidden camera fall from under his desk after just two days of working with sixth-grade students at the school. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Long Beach for the NBC4 News at Noon on April 20, 2012.

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A substitute teacher was working at Rancho Dominguez Preparatory School for two days before being removed from campus amid allegations of misconduct, according to a letter sent home to parents Friday.

A student reportedly found a camera that had fallen out from under the substitute teacher's desk. When asked about the camera, the teacher reportedly told the student it was none of his business, the student said to school officials.

Related: Slurs, Profanity Preceded Long Beach Student Brawl

The letters lacked specifics, and did not tell parents the grade level or the accusations against the teacher, who reportedly worked with sixth-grade students.

"I can just imagine what he was doing with the tape," said Rosalin Victor, whose daughter attends Rancho Dominguez Prep. "It's sad."

The employee was put on administrative leave last week when school officials learned of the allegations. That administrative leave has since become termination, since the substitute teacher is an at-will employee and can be let go without cause.

Complete Coverage: School Abuse Scandal

But the letter released Friday morning notes that he will not return to campus "until the investigation is complete and the allegations are determined to be unfounded," Principal Keri Lew wrote in the letter, which were available in English and Spanish.

"Where there is a presumption of innocence in matters of this nature, the District takes each and every reported act of misconduct seriously,” Lew wrote. “We are committed to aggressively pursuing each case to determine the truth and, if necessary, initiate the appropriate disciplinary or administrative measures."

The details of the incident are "confidential and cannot be disclosed," per the Long Beach Police Department, which is investigating the case, Lew wrote.

School officials learned about the incident last week and began calling parents Thursday night.

"We're thankful that students made this known," said Darel Strickland, LAUSD spokesman. "I think students should be given a lot of credit."

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