A Sierra High teacher is on paid leave pending a Manteca Unified investigation triggered in part by a podcast talk show he conducted in 2011 centered on sex and nudity that students browsing the Internet brought to the attention of school administrators.
Manteca Unified Superintendent Jason Messer confirmed Monday a teacher was put on paid leave Sept. 23 while the matter is being thoroughly investigated.
Messer stressed first and foremost the district puts the safety of students first and takes the rights of employees seriously at the same time. He indicated when a complaint is made preliminary investigations always take place to see if it warrants additional examination that would involve going to paid leave status.
The Bulletin received several emails from parents concerned the district may be trying to cover up the incident and failing to inform parents of the situation.
District administrators noted they are following procedures and the law but added if there had been any indications students were in jeopardy after initial inquiries were made that the paid leave would have started almost immediately.
The district last year investigated a complaint that a teacher may have acted inappropriately around children and put that teacher on paid leave. When the investigation was done, it was determined that wasn’t the case and the teacher was allowed to return to the classroom.
“We take student safety seriously,” Messer emphasized.
The site was dubbed Media Fiasco Podcast. A posting on Kickstarter seeking donations for production equipment, studio furniture, and ultimately building a future studio in a garage with walled in power complete with heating and air described the podcasts as “an irreverent and inappropriate look at what passes for news and pop culture today.”
It goes on to explain, “The Media Fiasco Podcast will explore what passes for news and pop culture today, and not spare any feelings in the process.
If any of these statements describe you, the Media Fiasco Podcast should be a perfect fit!
If you wonder why exactly the Kardashians are famous.
If you cannot think of a valid reason to give a second thought to the Real Housewives.
If you cannot stand people with a baseless sense of entitlement.
You want to hear about odd and offbeat news and facts.
You want to experience a show with listener feedback and interaction encouraged – whether the listener agrees with us or thinks we are full of you-know-what!”
The window for fundraising was shut down after 20 days on Aug. 2, 2012 after no one pledged anything toward the $4,000 goal.
On Monday, the Media Fiasco Podcast website was shut down with a notation it was undergoing routine maintenance.
After a student found episode 003 that was devoted to sex and nudity, they took a snapshot of the site that had been viewed by 61 people and circulated it via smartphone among a number of Sierra High students.
Sierra students posted comments to the snapshot including comments such as “how to get XXXX fired for good.”