An Irvine high school teacher has been arrested on suspicion of having an inappropriate "physical" relationship with a student, officials said Tuesday
Michael Jay Granger, 32, an English teacher at University High School, was taken into custody Monday night in connection with engaging in lewd conduct with the student, according to an Irvine Police Department statement.
The female student was 15 when she began communicating with Granger in September when the school year began, police said.
Police said the relationship was not discovered until the girl's parents found a string of text messages between the pair.
The messages seemed "suspicious," so the parents decided to look into the student's social media accounts, where they discovered evidence that the two had had a relationship, police said.
The girl's parents reported the incident Monday to Irvine police, who said they worked quickly to investigate the allegations.
"The safety of our students is a high priority," Irvine police Cmdr. Julia Engen said.
Granger, who is free on bail, was placed on unpaid administrative leave Monday, said Ian Hanigan, Irvine Unified School District spokesman.
"This is a very troubling allegation," Hanigan said. "It's one that we are taking very seriously."
Granger had been teaching at University High since 2004.