MONTCLAIR ( —A Montclair High School teacher was arrested over the weekend for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student.

Paul Martinez, 34, an English instructor, was allegedly involved with the victim, who just graduated last week, sometime in the last three months, according to Montclair police.

“When we hire staff in our district, and I’m sure any district, we hire them to assist students with their learning and to protect kids. And so an allegation such as this is obviously shocking and highly inappropriate, if substantiated,” said Mathew Holton, the superintendent of the Chaffey Joint Union High School District.

Junior Cassandra Austin told CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold that Martinez made her so uncomfortable, she would avoid being around him.

“Because he’s a teacher, he’s supposed to act professional, and I really didn’t like that he was talking to girls like that, especially younger girls,” she said.

Other students, however, have started a Twitter campaign called “Free Mr. Martinez,” claiming he was a good teacher and never tried anything inappropriate with them.

Martinez, who was released a day after he was taken into custody, is out on bail.


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