Preschool Teacher Removed From Classroom After Allegedly Playing Tongue Touching Game
WHITTIER (CBSLA.com) — Parents at Broadoaks Children’s School of Whittier College learned last night about the removal of a teacher following allegations that he played a tongue touching game with a preschool student in February.
The alleged incident was first reported to school officials months ago but parents only got word of it last night during a meeting with administrators.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to parents and the school’s director.
One parent, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “You know when your kids start school, the first thing you look at is safety. And you put a lot of research into what is a good school for them. It’s hard when you think you found the right school and it’s not it.”
Dr. Judith Wagner, the school’s director, says she couldn’t tell parents about the alleged incident because she was asked not to by investigators.
“That the investigation was to be thorough and that our obligation was to be confidential throughout, we lived up to that,” said Dr. Wagner.
This week, the California Department of Social Services issued a finding in the matter.
It read in part, “Based on this information, it has been determined that the personal rights of child #1 were violated when staff #1 played the touching tongue game with child #1.”
Dr. Wagner says the school also conducted an internal investigation.
“For me, our policies and procedures are to make so highly unlikely but licensing came to a different conclusion,” she said.
The Department of Social Services issued an exclusion order against the teacher saying, “continued or future contact with clients or presence in any facility licensed by CDSS constitutes a threat to the health and safety of the clients in care.”
Nguyen reports, the unidentified teacher is barred from any contact with any facilities licensed by the department.
Christine Brown, a parent, said the school acted appropriately by not rushing to judgment.
“I think it’s a travesty that any teacher’s career is ruined over an single unproven accusation,” said Brown.
Nguyen reported that a number of parents said seven month to not tell them about the alleged incident was far too long.
The accused is also reportedly a son of an administrator.
The Whittier Police Department has closed its investigation into the case.
The DA’s Office says no charges have been filed.