California teacher on leave after alleged teacher-student sex comments
A high school art teacher who allegedly posted Facebook comments condoning sexual relations between teachers and students has been put on paid leave.
Teacher Sean Kane works at the same school -- South Hills High in West Covina -- where two female educators were arrested on suspicion of having sex with students.
Kane’s profile may have been taken down on the social media site; a recent search of Facebook did not turn up a profile for the teacher. But a school district official confirmed this wording: Students should have kept their “stupid mouths shut and enjoyed it.”
Kane was working up until Wednesday. But when the district became aware of the post, they put him on paid administrative leave so they could investigate, said Michelle Van Der Linden, spokeswoman for the Covina Valley Unified School District.
She said Kane’s alleged comments were unbecoming of a teacher, adding that it was inappropriate of him to condone the teachers’ behavior.
Melody Lippert, 38, and Michelle Ghirelli, 30, were arrested Saturday, accused of arranging an overnight camping trip to a San Clemente beach, where they had sex with students, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The overnight beach trip was not a school-sponsored event.
As of Thursday, the Orange County district attorney’s office said they had not filed charges against Lippert and Ghirelli.
The pair were released on bail Sunday.
After hearing Kane was not allowed on campus, students began a #FreeKane campaign to get him back. Students on Thursday took to Twitter to address Kane’s temporary dismissal, saying he was the best teacher.
Following the teachers’ arrests, Van Der Linden said the district was working on creating a hot line for students to anonymously report anything they believed was “uncomfortable.”
“They are going to get through this,” she said of the South Hills students. “They are going to pull through.”
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