A woman’s Facebook post alleging sexual encounters with a male teacher at Pitman High School while she was a student, has prompted a police investigation and a resignation from the teacher.
The Facebook post was made by the woman on Dec. 9, and claims she was preyed upon and manipulated into a sexual relationship with her English teacher, who she identified as Justin Wayne Clark, 36.
Prior to posting the allegations on social media, the woman reported the matter to the Turlock Unified School District over the summer.
“This past summer we received a report of an alleged inappropriate relationship between a Pitman High School teacher and a former student,” said TUSD Chief Communication Coordinator Marie Russell in an emailed statement. “When such an allegation is received, particularly when it pertains to the safety and welfare of students, we immediately place staff member(s) on paid administrative leave and involve law enforcement, legal counsel, and the TUSD Human Resources Department to launch an investigation.
“This protocol was followed when the allegations at issue were raised.,” Russell continued. “At the conclusion of the investigation, the teacher elected to resign with the understanding that evidence gathered would be forwarded to the Commission on Teacher Credential for review, as required by law.
“At TUSD, we work hard every day to educate students in a safe environment,” Russell said. “As such, when an allegation of misconduct like this comes forward, we make it a priority to ensure student safety while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the subsequent investigation. As always, any student or staff member who believes they have been subject to, or observed, unlawful harassment is encouraged to notify the District’s human resources department.”
Clark’s teaching credential has been suspended, according to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
In her post, which was shared repeatedly on social media, the woman describes Clark as a “predator” and expresses frustration that he has gone on with his life, while she has lost friends and family because they blamed her for the situation.
“Every day I’m living with the consequences of him grooming me since my sophomore year of high school,” the woman wrote in her post.
Her post explicitly details several sexual encounters between the two while she was a student, including multiple occasions when he allegedly took nude photos of her and refused to delete them.
“… this man was 13 years older than me. He had gotten out of his marriage a year before, had experienced love and life.,” the woman wrote. “I was a student of his my freshman year. I was a kid who struggled with depression and spoke to him about the struggles and hurt I dealt with. He was someone I trusted, like many kids do in high school. I never went in with an intention of being romantic with him. I wanted someone who I could talk to. Someone who would let me be 100 percent transparent.”
The woman also used the post to express her frustrations with how the matter was handled by the Turlock Police Department.
“Also want to give a shout out to the Turlock police department and the police officer who not only laughed at me when I cried to him during my report, but also told me my assault was “uncomfortable but consensual” being that I didn’t fight him off. (Guess me saying no and asking if we could wait wasn’t enough),” she wrote.
Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar said he could not comment on the case because of confidentiality, but did say that the police department “handles all investigations in a professional manner with the utmost attention given to victims. We insure that all avenues of investigative leads are exhausted.”