District Under Fire Over Hidden Camera in Classroom

District Under Fire Over Hidden Camera in Classroom

Kitty Alvarado Connect

Who put a surveillance camera underneath a desk at Saul Martinez Elementary School and why? And why did the Coachella Valley Unified School District wait more than a week to tell staff and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department about the camera? And why haven’t parents been informed? Nearly two weeks after the camera was found many questions still remain.

“I think it’s becoming more serious by the day because of the lack of knowledge we have about it,” says Carissa Carrera says the Coachella Valley Teachers Association president.

Carrera says she knows one thing for sure, “It doesn’t matter why it was there the teacher was not aware of the placement of the camera and that is a misdemeanor according to ed code (California Education Code)”

She says she finally met with CVUSD superintendent Edwin Gomez on Tuesday morning.

She says he assured her they are investigating, “They have been conducting their own investigation into the placement of the camera.”

After repeated attempts by phone, email and in person to speak with district representatives, the assistant superintendent, Maria Gandera, finally sent this one sentence statement:

“I can confirm an active investigation is currently taking place.”

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says they are not taking action because after the district contacted them about a “suspicious circumstance” deputies determined it to be a civil issue and “no criminal intent was identified”. 

Carrera says this seems to contradict the district’s account, “Everybody’s worried and concerned, people have said that it feels like a cover up.”

Carrera says they’re consulting with the California Teachers Association as to what steps to take next, they may include legal action.