GRANADA HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Controversial photos of a Los Angeles Unified School District high school teacher may be behind his dismissal from the classroom.
One of the photos showing Granada Hill Charter High School chemistry teacher Paul DeCunzo wearing nothing but an athletic supporter started circulating after a student found it Wednesday night on the social media website, Google+.
“A student found it, and he or she posted it on Twitter, and it just went viral,” student Alber Khoury said.
“It was everywhere during school,” student Monica Guevara said.
Students said DeCunzo was removed from his second period science class Thursday morning for unspecified reasons.
“I can’t really speak about anything until I speak with my lawyer, thank you,” DeCunzo said.
Parents say people should not be quick to judge the situation.
“The picture is disturbing, but we need to know the facts before we can crucify the guy, you know? Was his account hacked or not? Everybody has their right to have their own private life,” parent Jessica Pena said.
Granada Hills Charter High School Executive Director Brian Bauer issued a statement Friday afternoon:
“Please understand that neither the Board nor School staff can provide detailed factual responses to personnel inquiries due to the School’s legal obligation to protect the privacy rights of School employees. Nevertheless, I would like to assure our community that the School has taken all necessary steps to protect the best interests of its students, staff, and stakeholders, and that student safety and welfare has been and continues to be of paramount concern. Further, while I am aware that this matter has understandably caused concern, please be assured that at this time, the allegations against this employee do not involve criminal conduct or inappropriate interactions with School students…Moving forward, the School shall ensure continued review of its practices and protocols in order to provide a safe and healthy school environment for both students and staff. The School prides itself on providing an exceptional educational program and learning environment.”
DeCunzo has worked at the school for almost a decade. It was unclear if he had returned to the classroom Friday.