Teacher Charged In School Hazing Incidents

FONTANA—The previously-underreported but now increasingly spotlighted proliferation of schoolyard and classroom bullying drew even more attention to itself last week and throughout this week when a teacher and four students attending his class at A.B. Miller High School were arrested for hazing two students at the school. The teacher and an eighteen year old student were charged by the district attorney’s office on June 26 with felony counts including child abuse and false imprisonment, prosecutors said.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office charged the teacher, Emmanuel De La Rosa, 27, with child abuse, two counts of attempted sexual penetration by a foreign object involving a minor victim older than 14  and two counts of false imprisonment by violence. De La Rosa was also charged with failure to report suspected child abuse to a child protective agency.
Eighteen-year-old Fernando Salgado was charged with two counts of sexual penetration  involving a minor victim older than 14, and two counts of false imprisonment by violence.
The felony complaint references two unidentified victims. According to Fontana Police, the three students hazed the two victims while all were attending a summer-school masonry class taught by De La Rosa. While there is nothing to indicate De La Rosa was directly involved in meting out the abuse, police allege he knew it was taking place and investigators suggested De La Rosa might have consented to the hazing to “discipline” what he considered problem students.
Supporters who flooded a special school board meeting on June 26 said that the charges leveled at De La Rosa were out of character with the man they knew. Some suggested that he was being scapegoated for excesses in a culture of violence that permeates local schools.
De La Rosa was freed on $100,000 bond and has been put on administrative suspension from his teaching assignment. He was arraigned on June 28.
Salgado remains in custody on a $100,000 bond and was arraigned on June 28.
The child abuse allegation lodged against De La Rosa states he “willfully and unlawfully, under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm and death, injury” caused and permitted “a child to suffer and to be inflicted with unjustifiable physical pain and mental suffering.”
In an affidavit submitted by police to the court, it is alleged that on June 21, one victim related that while he was in De La Rosa’s class three students held him and pulled his pants down while Salgado attempted to penetrate him with a piece of steel rebar. During their investigation, officers came across a second alleged victim who told them that on June 14 three students in the same classroom tried to hold him down while Salgado attempted to force a wooden broom handle into his body. De La Rosa was aware of both incidents and others like them that had occurred in his classroom, according to the affidavit.

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