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Parents rally for Westview teacher's dismissal over texting scandal

Angry Poway Unified School District parents on Friday packed the sidewalk calling for a local teacher to be fired after sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage student.

SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Angry Poway Unified School District parents on Friday packed the sidewalk calling for a local teacher to be fired after sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage student.

The parents complained to the Poway Unified School District when they found the texts on their teenager's cell phone.

“He would say, ‘Night, night sweetie’ and ‘send me a picture,’” said the teen’s mother.

The texts document many private communications between the Westview teacher and the 17-year-old student.

News 8 is not identifying the parents in order to protect the teenager, who is no longer attending Westview High.

The parents filed a complaint with Poway Unified. In addition to the text messages, they had other concerns.

“This teacher invited her to go to lunch one day. And she texted back 'my friend's going to come.’ And he ended up canceling the lunch because the friend was coming,” said the teenager’s father.

Poway Unified conducted an investigation and records show the teacher admitted that some of the texts were inappropriate. But the teacher did not get fired.

“He has been disciplined. They won't tell us what it is because they can't. It's all private,” said the father. “We said to them we want him removed and they're refusing to do that.”

Many local school districts have policies forbidding teacher-student texting for personal, nonacademic purposes.

Poway Unified did not have a social media policy in place until after this texting incident came to light.

In a written statement to News 8, Poway Unified said it expects all its employees to maintain professional and ethical standards when interacting with students.

"When a concern is brought to our attention, it is thoroughly investigated and the appropriate corrective action is taken when necessary,” the statement said.

Now other concerned parents are getting involved and pushing for the teacher's dismissal.

The teacher is still working at Westview High School. News 8 is not identifying him because he has not been charged with any crime.

News 8 reached out to the teacher in question but he did not respond to our request for comment.

One Friday, Principal Tina Ziegler sent the following message to parents: 

Dear Westview Families,

We wanted to make you aware that as students arrive on campus this morning, they may encounter a protest and media in front of our school. Law enforcement is on hand to make sure participants don’t impede traffic, interfere with anyone trying to get to campus, or disrupt the school day.

You may have heard recent news reports about one of our Westview staff members. It is regarding a confidential personnel matter, so we are unable to provide many details.

However, the Poway Unified School District expects all district employees to maintain the highest ethical standards, exhibit professional behavior, follow district policies and regulations, abide by state and federal laws, and exercise good judgment when interacting with students and other members of the school community. When a concern about an employee and student is brought to our attention, it is thoroughly investigated by the District and reported to law enforcement and the appropriate disciplinary action is taken when necessary. And I can assure you that is what happened in this case.

As always, Our students’ safety and well-being remains a top priority.


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