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ABCUSD Teacher Accused of Inappropriate Interactions With Student, Mother Alleges Cover-Up

BY BRIAN HEWS

Last week the ABC Board got an email as a follow up to an issue classified by the ABCUSD Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu “as a personal matter” and that the issue was being followed up by ABC personnel including the Superintendent and ABC Board President Soo Yoo.

A few days later, during last night’s Board meeting, the remaining Board members found out exactly what the personnel issue was, and at least two members were extremely upset.

A sobbing mother approached the dais for public comment and accused the District of withholding information on alleged sexual assault of her daughter and implicated the District in a cover-up.

She said her 13-year-old daughter was forced to have “inappropriate interactions” with a non-permanent substitute teacher, told a high school principal, and that the District did nothing about it.

The daughter described to her mother how the teacher forcibly put her hand on his penis and said he was in love with her.

HMG-LCCN did learn that there was an internal investigation after the allegations surfaced, and that the teacher was terminated, but that was the extent of the investigation.

The ABC investigation did not call for law enforcement to intervene, even though sources are telling HMG-LCCN that the teacher allegedly had additional interactions prior to the 13-year-old exchange.

HMG-LCCN has also been told that the teacher had been transferred twice between ABC schools.

This was all a surprise to the six remaining ABC School Board members, including ABC Board Vice President Leticia Mendoza.

Usually the Board President will inform the Vice President of any serious issues, especially sexual assault, and then immediately report the incident.

As the mother sobbed at the dais, President Yoo reportedly attempted to move the meeting along, but Board Member Chris Apodaca would have none of that.

Apodaca grabbed a box of tissue and left the dais to comfort the mom, and gave her all the information she needed to properly report the issue.

The mother gathered herself and described her daughter’s state-of-mind and that she had to move the child to Texas to get her away from the ABC.

HMG-LCCN could not obtain information on the teacher other than he was classified as a “para educator;” para educators usually start at elementary schools then work their way up to middle schools, but for some reason the teacher was transferred from Haskell Middle School to Cerritos High School.

HMG-LCCN has sent emails to Dr. Sieu and President Soo Yoo, as of publication time they had not responded.

A partial transcript from the emotional mother’s testimony, “You have a problem in your district and I’m speaking about a sexual predator you have in your district and I’m the mother of the child. I had to send her away to Texas to protect her and I feel you guys are holding on to the criminal evidence that would put this man behind bars. I am separated from my daughter, she is a mess because she thinks she is in love with this guy. He was a para educator at Haskell and then he worked at Cerritos, you guys suspended him 2 1/2 weeks ago I have not seen my daughter in 2 1/2 weeks. I want to know if you guys are mandated reporters can somebody answer me you’re a mandated to report abuse and molestation?”

The mother then suggested that a cover-up by the District had occurred.

“I have left messages for the Superintendent (Mary Sieu)which I never got a callback. I have a police report.  I can’t get any cooperation, all I hear is ‘I understand I understand where you’re coming from’ no you don’t!”

“I have tried to do this the legal way, I’m asking you guys for help because you hold the key to locking this man up because I tell you what, this was not his first rodeo. He was too comfortable with what he was doing. He works for one of your junior high schools last year (Haskell) and he’s at Cerritos High this year, they won’t tell me if you guys fired him, I know he was suspended.”

“Everybody is protecting this man.”

“I am asking you tonight to turn over the report from Artesia High school that says this man put  took my daughters hand and put it on his penis and that he was kissing her, that’s what I’m asking for because that’s when the law-enforcement  will act.”

“This has been a nightmare, our family has been in the ABC  district for over 50 years. I have begged everybody, I can’t sleep at night, my daughter can’t sleep at night my whole life has been ripped and nobody is listening.”

“Can the board please turn over that evidence so you can take it down to Lakewood Sheriff’s department and have this man arrested and jailed where he belongs.”

“The response to my request from the district was ‘he’s not working for our schools anymore he won’t be around children.'”

“You guys hold that information, if you guys would’ve took that and done your job that day after she reported it to Artesia High,  and you should’ve reported it to the sheriffs, we would’ve already had an arrest and I can have my daughter back where she belongs.”

President Soo Yoo, who knew about the assault allegations, then asked boardmember Apodaca to return to his seat.

Yoo said, “we thank you so much for coming to us, we thank you for coming and sharing with us we know this is difficult.”

The mom then interrupted, “have you not heard about this.”

Yoo answered no.

“The mom then snapped back, “did you get the phone call I left for you last week because you never called me back. So you can’t say you don’t know about it, don’t say you didn’t know about it.”

Superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu then said, “excuse me first of all we’re not to engage in dialogue with people who have made public comment I will follow up with you tomorrow.”

The mom then held up a picture of her daughter, “this is my daughter, do you see her, because I don’t.”

Yoo then interrupted her saying, “we thank you for coming I know this is hard for you.”

Yoo then completely ignored the comments and quickly move to the next speaker.

The District along with Yoo, Sieu, and anyone else who knew about the issue could be in violation of the several California Penal Codes under the Mandated Reporters section which would place the District and those who knew in legal jeopardy.

Under the Codes, Mandated Reporters include teachers, teacher’s aides, administrators, and employees of public or private schools.

Yoo and Sieu are clearly under the category administrators.

California Code §§ 11166; 11165.7 states, “a report is required when a mandated reporter, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the reporter knows or reasonably suspects is the victim of abuse or neglect.”

UPDATE:

Sources have told HMG-LCCN that the sister of the molester works for the District also and that the mother has been telling the District for weeks. The sources said that a memo was written after the incident by Artesia High School Assistant Principal Rosie Gomez who forwarded to AHS Principal Sergio Garcia who forwarded the memo to Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Gina Zietlow.

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Gerald
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Gerald

So sad for that family, hope she sues and initiates a Federal investigation. Also superintendent and board president must have a vote of no confident with dismissal. LACOE and CDE are also accomplices and useless. This type of issue along with many more are epidemics within many districts. It’s very important that parents attend board meetings ton stay involved every step of kids education It seems like they are acting out the milgrams obedience pattern, with administrators controlling staff and staff who know just keep covering ups incidents for pay instead of have morals, spinless.

Sabrina
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Sabrina

Because they don’t care they only care about the money they get and having the best schools they don’t really give a damn about our students

Kimberlyinsocal
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Kimberlyinsocal

ABC was my district growing up, and I’m so embarrassed. My granddaughter had to move out of the district. She had celiac disease (no gluten) and for a year they served her frozen refried beans and rice for lunch. Nothing else! Ignorant! They told her she couldn’t even eat the salad.

jas
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jas

Least Chris, ( single man) a trustee from the poorest area in the district, ( HG) stood alongside , showing empathy towards the mother, sharing a Kleenex and it appeared he forwarded her a small Novena pamphlet.

Parade of no on the bond, plus the molesting issue I think it’s going to further change the climate for the school bond from passing. Trustee and Super are worthless & have no business being in school construction with the administration of any bonds.

Again, thanks to Chris, for demonstrating love, during sickening public comments.