Fresno Teacher Arrested On Molestation Charges

January 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The impassioned Principal of University High School couldn't talk about details but he didn't hold back how he feels about the allegations against his music teacher Jonathan Malcolm. "It's impossible for us to express the magnitude of our disappointment, sadness and anger that this event has happened." The charter high school is on the Fresno State campus. At a news conference Thursday afternoon University Police Lt. Lupe Canales-Shrum said, "University High School's administration advised they had been notified of a possible relationship between a student and a University High School faculty member."

The Lt. said when Principal James Bushman contacted the department Tuesday, her officers along with Fresno Police, searched the 32 year old's classroom. Investigators wouldn't reveal what they found but say Malcolm is also accused of distributing lewd material to a minor.

Lt. Shrum said, "We acted promptly and within 35 hours we had Mr. Malcolm arrested and booked in the Fresno County Jail."

Malcolm's students got the news Thursday. One girl said, "He's one of the favorite teachers." Another one of Malcolm's students told Action News, "He's really nice and he wouldn't do anything like that. The relationship wasn't like he was a teacher it was more like he was a friend from outside."

Malcolm has taught music at University High School since 2005 and is also the school's orchestra and band conductor. Police say it's too early in the investigation to know if there may be other possible victims. Principal Bushman sent parents an email about the teacher's arrest and administrative leave and expressed his sadness. At Thursday's news conference he said, "We are devastated that this has occurred on our campus."

The school's board meets Friday to decide if the music teacher will keep his job and extra counselors will be on campus for students.

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E-MAIL SENT TO PARENTS FROM UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It is with extreme regret that I tell you that our instrumental music teacher has been arrested, and is currently on administrative leave from our school pending a special closed session meeting of the Board today at 2pm to discuss this issue. The police action was the result of an investigation we requested after certain allegations came to our attention.

Naturally our concern is for the welfare of our students and as such we are moving forward as aggressively as possible to resolve this issue. We are committed to maintaining the quality educational program we have and ensuring that our students will not suffer any ill effects from this disruption. I am sure I will be sending you further email communications soon.

On a personal note, I could not be more sorry to have to tell you this news. For those of us that work at UHS this is more than an job for us, and as you know I am not the only staff member that have children that have attended this school. I speak for all of us when I tell you that we are stunned and saddened by this turn of events, but this school belongs to all of us and we will move forward. We are UHS.

Don't hesitate to call me if you have questions,

James Bushman

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