Outraged Meadow Lane Elementary Parents Start Petition to Remove Teacher
Some Meadow Lane Elementary parents have started a petition to have a teacher removed from the school after learning her husband, a former California Highway Patrol Officer, is facing child pornography charges.
45 year old Gerald "Gary" Harris has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of possessing child porn, one felony for unauthorized use of a computer, one misdemeanor count for annoying a child and two special allegations.
He's already pleaded not guilty to possessing assault weapons, explosives, a controlled substance and embezzlement.
The report from CHP investigators says they found numerous flash drives and computer discs during their investigation at his Anderson home.
On one flash drive, a photo was found of a former student in his wife's second grade class at Meadow Lane. The camera was focused on her private parts and was date stamped September 2010. Investigators tracked the identity of the student and found she now lives in Roseville. The student said she remembered Harris being in the classroom everyday "after lunch and would leave shortly before school let out."
Investigators found a second flash drive at Harris' home. It contained more than 100 pictures of child erotica and nudity that were evidence in another CHP case.
The report also mentioned an incident from several years ago when pornography was found on the computer in Mrs. Harris' classroom. The school's computer technician asked Mrs. Harris about it. She said she didn't know where it came from, but, according to the report, speculated it may have come from her husband. The tech reported the incident to the school's Superintendent at that time.
Venus Bontadelli and Rae Kingsley both have kids that go to Meadow Lane. They told us they had no idea about Gary Harris' charges until this past week.
They said they were upset that parents weren't notified about the situation as it was happening.
They had a meeting with the schools principal and the current superintendent, Harley North, earlier this week. They told us the officials said they couldn't do anything about it at this point.
Bontadelli and Kingsley told us they were "infuriated...beyond infuriated. Nobody called us. We had to find out through whatever media had put in front of us. They don't plan on doing any disciplinary action to at least remove the teacher to keep the children safe so our concern is to keep our children safe and to at least inform the people like us that didn't know."
After feeling as if they didn't get anywhere with the school's officials, the duo started a petition. It explains the situation and talks about the importance of the students' safety and demands the removal of Mrs. Harris, at least until Gary Harris' trial is over.
Their goal is to get at least 200 signatures. As of Friday afternoon, they had 109. After they have the signatures they need, they plan on bringing them to Superintendent Harley North.
We talked with Superintendent North about the situation. He told us firing a tenure teacher is a lengthy process. He also pointed out that there are no charges filed against Mrs. Harris.
In the meantime, Bontadelli and Kingsley are going through the process to take their kids out of the Cascade Union Elementary School District.
Gary Harris is scheduled to be back in court on Tuesday.
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