Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Gustavo Castillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A 37-year-old biology and chemistry teacher at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights was behind bars Tuesday for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student in his classroom and at his home last fall.

David Park, who also worked as a “walk-on” football coach in 2007 and 2008 at Ruben Ayala Chino Valley High School in Chino and Western Christian High School in Upland, was arrested Tuesday evening at his  Chino Hills residence, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Parks, who was taken into custody by deputies from the Industry Sheriff’s Station and personnel with the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau, has been a full-time teacher at Los Altos High School since 2009.

The alleged relationship with the unnamed Los Altos High School student lasted from September through November, according to the sheriff’s department.

Park was booked on suspicion of oral copulation, lewd acts with a child 15 years old and sexual battery, with bail set at $1 million. He is in custody at the Industry Sheriff’s Station and is due in a Pomona courtroom tomorrow, according to the sheriff’s department.

Hacienda La Puente Unified School District Superintendent Cynthia Parulan-Colfer said in a statement that the alleged victim came forward late Monday to allege “that there had been an inappropriate relationship between her and a teacher.”

“The principal at Los Altos immediately notified the sheriff’s department to investigate and the district also began its own investigation,” she said. “The teacher was taken into custody by the sheriff’s department on Monday evening and also placed on administrative leave.

“There is nothing more important to us than the safety and well being of our students and we are working with the sheriff’s department, the victim’s family and the school site to continue the investigation,” Parulan-Colfer said.

Anyone with information was urged to call the school district at (626) 933-3801, or the sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau at (800) 222-8477.

“We know this type of incident has the potential to be disruptive to a campus learning environment, and we hope everyone will respect that environment, the victim’s privacy and the ongoing investigation during the process,” the superintendent said.

The district has more than 20,000 students at campuses in Industry, La Puente, Hacienda Heights and Valinda.

City News Service

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