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Police are investigating a possible inappropriate relationship
between a female Gilroy High School student and a male faculty
member, police said.
Police are investigating a possible inappropriate relationship between a female Gilroy High School student and a male faculty member, police said.

More than a month ago, the Gilroy Unified School District received a report of the relationship and launched an internal administrative investigation, Superintendent Deborah Flores said. The district then contacted police, who launched their own criminal investigation.

The reporting adult said the relationship took place during the 2006-’07 school year, when the girl was a senior and younger than 18, police said. The girl graduated in May.

When asked about the possible relationship, the vast majority of students contacted at the high school Thursday afternoon had not heard anything. However, one girl said she had heard about a relationship between a female and a coach.

“It’s all rumors,” said the girl, who became angry and refused to identify herself.

The girl said she knew both the student and the coach and that they had told her that nothing happened. However, she would not say how the allegations came about or identify the girl or coach.

Police are investigating the possible relationship, but would not give details of the allegations, Sgt. Jim Gillio said. In addition, they would not say what position the faculty member held at the high school.

Police also would not say if the relationship had been sexual in nature, if it involved multiple inappropriate incidents or if it had been a single encounter. Police also would not say if the reporting adult was a parent or a Gilroy Unified School District employee.

School administrators were also mum on details of allegations and whether the employee was still employed by the district.

“I never comment on personnel issues,” Principal James Maxwell said in response to multiple questions.

District records of personnel changes show no men have gone on leave since the district and police began their investigation.

An Associate Press investigation published in October revealed that one in about 1,200 public school educators nationwide had their teaching credentials revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned between 2001 and 2005 after being accused of sexual misconduct. This misconduct included lesser violations, such as viewing pornography on school computers, to major violations, such as rape. In more than 80 percent of violations, students were involved, and in 90 percent, the educator was male.

In addition, the investigation found administrators and educators nationwide reported many incidents are investigated internally by school districts. This means that the educator’s credentials are not affected and that the educator can continue teaching in another district. A Congress-ordered report estimated about one in 10 students will be the target of sexual misconduct by an educator between kindergarten and 12th grade.

Gillio said that during his seven-year tenure with the Gilroy Police Department, he has never heard a similar complaint in Gilroy.

Flores stressed that an investigation did not equate to guilt. However, she also said students and parents should know the district takes allegations against educators seriously.

“If they have any concerns about inappropriate behavior by a teacher, they need to report it to a principal or directly to the district,” she said. “We won’t tolerate inappropriate behavior toward students.”

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