Arizona’s predatory teachers: The endless parade

Seeing Red AZ has begun referring to the ongoing saga of sexually exploitive teachers as “the endless parade” — having written about their appalling abuses on numerous occasions.

Today we introduce you to Alfonso Padilla, 36, a cool guy with frosted streaks in his dark hair, who has a propensity for downloading child pornography.

Padilla was arrested last week at Coolidge High School, but had been allowed to teach in at least three other districts while under a state misconduct investigation for downloading dozens of explicit images of young children.  He had earlier resigned from the Higley Unified School District in Gilbert, where officials allege he merely downloaded adult pornography. 

The case reveals a loophole in state law that allows teachers under a misconduct investigation to work at other schools, even when the allegation could imply an imminent threat or danger to student safety, according to a report in the daily.

Cecilia Johnson, the Coolidge district’s top administrator, said Padilla didn’t say why he left Higley. “In fact, when we called the state board, they told us to ask Padilla why he resigned,” Johnson said.

The state Board of Education President Jacob Moore didn’t respond to calls to his Scottsdale office or e-mail inquiries. The board oversees misconduct inquiries and has four investigators to regulate the state’s 200,000 certified teachers. Investigations are kept secret.

Amazingly, a teacher’s certificate is valid until the case is closed — which means schools depend on the applicant to volunteer that he or she is under investigation.

Seeing Red AZ is seeing red. Read these previous posts on the topic here, here and here.

This one concerns a teacher who was engaged in multiple sexual relationships, which resulted in a murder charge when one of her students stabbed another one to death in a “love triangle.”  In that case, officials said they would have divulged the information to the new school, if they would have asked.

6 Responses to Arizona’s predatory teachers: The endless parade

  1. Virginia says:

    As a retired teacher this ongoing news saddens me. Although these crimes are committed by a small minority they taint our entire profession. The betrayal of the confidence placed in us by parents, students and administrators, harms us all. There are “bad apples” in every profession, but these reports seem to be gaining momentum. Also, the reporting system needs to be repaired.

  2. American Dad says:

    Why isn’t there a better system for keeping tabs on these criminally offending teachers? The lackadaisical approach makes me very angry. This board needs an complete head to toe overhaul.

  3. MacBeth says:

    Who appoints these State Board of Education members? Who do they answer to? Do they require a senate confirmation? Who looks into THEIR backgrounds? I’d be very interested in some answers if anyone has any information. There appears to be an awful lot flying under the radar.

  4. DGN says:

    The Board is appointed by the Governor and all the current Board members are Napolitano appointees. But the Board cannot do anything not authorized by state law. There is evidently a loophole in state law in which predatory teachers can continue to work while being investigated. That’s because we’re all innocent until proven guilty and if you forced anyone out of his or her job because of an investigation, that process could also be abused. For example, a student who didn’t like a teacher could make a false allegation and if an investigation was enough to cause dismissal or suspension, an innocent person’s career could be ruined. That said, there must be a way to address these creeps who troll from school to school with a trail of abuse in their wake.

  5. Doc says:

    So, they’re like “CZARs”, right? However, DGN is on the money as well, in my opinion. Just because someone ACCUSES someone else of…molestation, rape, abuse, whatever, DOESN’T mean the crime was actually committed. The “Presumption of Innocence” is rapidly eroding, & that needs to be stopped immediately!

    I know a man in Maricopa County, whose 17 yr old step-daughter accused him of sexually assaulting her. (& th’ cow jumped over the moon…) The rest of the story was that she was GROUNDED, & wanted to go out. Well, 4 YEARS later, over $10K in legal costs, 16 months in jail later, a rape kit that stated “Dad’s” DNA WAS NOT PRESENT, but someone else’s WAS, he’s on “sex offender terms of probation”…& his life has effectively been TRASHED. The step daughter, & “mom” have BOTH gone to C.A. Andy Thomas’ office & recanted their original stories, after their guilty feelings overwhelmed them, only to be told that THEY would be prosecuted for purgery…so they did nothing, & the County Attourny’s office followed through with their complacency…

    So, while I’m the 1st guy to stand up in protection of my kids, who the Sun rises & sets upon, these alleged “child molesters” MUST be Legitimately PROVEN GUILTY FIRST…Plea deals be damned…Then, these folks need to be eliminated from any activity with kids what-so-ever by being locked up…or whatever. That INCLUDES teaching, obviously. Wonder why Jan Brewer didn’t handle this in the 1st place…& suprize, suprize! J-NO left a pack-0-libs supervising the SAFETY of our kids! Nice…

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