Substitute teacher accused of taking ‘inappropriate’ pictures of college tutors, banned while Corona-Norco investigates

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A substitute teacher has been barred from teaching in Corona-Norco schools while educators investigate allegations that he took “inappropriate pictures” of college students working as tutors at Corona’s Raney Intermediate School, officials said this week.

Corona police determined that no crime was committed.

Clayton Turner, whose daughter attends Raney and accompanied a student who made the report, said that on Friday, April 26, the substitute appeared to be taking photographs of tutors’ buttocks during a class.

Corona-Norco Unified School District spokeswoman Evita Tapia-Gonzalez confirmed in an email that the teacher was “taking what appeared to be inappropriate pictures of college tutors in the classroom.”

She did not elaborate on what was inappropriate or name the substitute. “The initial report” did not indicate that the substitute teacher took photos of Raney students, Tapia-Gonzalez said.

Turner said he was told by his daughter that the tutors are women.

The incident occurred during a fifth-period, seventh-grade AVID class, Turner said. He said his daughter was on her way to her sixth-period AVID class when she ran into a friend who had been in the previous period. The friend had recorded an iPhone video of the substitute’s actions, Turner said. AVID, which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination, is a course that aims to put students on the path to college.

Turner said his daughter encouraged her friend to report the incident.

“She watched the video as they were walking to the office to report him,” Turner said. “She was going with her for support.”

About three minutes into the sixth-period class, a school official came into the classroom and removed the substitute teacher, he said.

Tapia-Gonzalez confirmed that the substitute was removed immediately and reported to the district’s human resources department. School officials immediately put the substitute on an inactive list, which bars the teacher from working at any Corona-Norco district campus, she then. Officials then launched an investigation.

Corona-Norco is the Inland area’s largest school district, with about 53,000 students, according to the California Department of Education. Raney has approximately 740 students.

Corona police Sgt. Chad Fountain said an officer looked into the matter and visited Raney on Monday afternoon, April 28. The officer concluded that no crime occurred, and no one was arrested, Fountain said.

Tapia-Gonzalez praised the students who came forward and said “the District has zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior that comprises the safety of students and staff.”

Tapia-Gonzalez said the investigation is continuing but did not say when it would be completed.

“All reports from students in the classroom are being taken very seriously and will be included in the investigation,” she said, adding that if there are students who have additional information they are encouraged to report those details to school officials.

Tapia-Gonzalez said that, after the investigation ends, the district will report the substitute and incident to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, if warranted.

Commission spokesman Joshua Speaks in Sacramento said the commission issues permits for substitute teachers, which must be renewed annually. The agency may revoke a permit if allegations of misconduct are made and substantiated during a formal review, Speaks said.

When allegations trigger a suspension or other change in employment status at a school district that last more than 10 days, the district’s superintendent is required by law to tell the commission within 30 days, Speaks said. That would trigger a review by the commission, he said.

A teacher can still seek employment with other school districts while under review, he said, but, if asked, the commission would inform that district that the substitute is being investigated. Once a permit is revoked, a substitute cannot teach in California, Speaks said.