Livingston teacher allegedly got kids high, kept nitroglycerin


Police arrested Japhia Huhndorf Wednesday, for the second time this week. Action News spoke with a Livingston Police sergeant who tells me Japhia Huhndorf has not denied the accusations against her, but her general attitude is that she did nothing wrong. Meanwhile, students returned to class after being evacuated Wednesday morning.

"Yesterday was kind of crazy," said Adrian Nuno. "And now everything is calm. Okay now, no more crazy stuff no more."

The only students missing from Livingston High School Thursday were seniors who made a class trip to Disneyland, a welcome escape from the investigation that brought the FBI and a bomb squad to their campus the day before.

Authorities detonated highly explosive nitroglycerin they found in Japhia Huhndorf's classroom, just two days after they arrested her on child endangerment charges for allegedly helping students get high on chloroform.

Police now say they also searched her Atwater home after all the commotion on campus Wednesday.

"With her cooperation, we conducted a search," said Sgt. Ray Fong. "Nothing was found as far as explosives or anything like that."

People who live nearby did not want to speak on camera, but one told us Japhia and her husband have always been good neighbors. Sgt. Ray Fong says the teacher is not denying the accusations, but doesn't seem to think she's done anything wrong. He also tells us she appears to have acted alone. "We don't have anything showing that anyone else was involved in this."

An Action News investigation has revealed more about Huhndorf and her past. We searched court records and found she has no documented criminal history. We also learned she received an internship teaching credential in 2009 and a preliminary teaching credential in February of this year. But the district notified her in March she would not have a job next year. Administrators did not want to comment on her employment or the criminal case, but said they're working with authorities to keep students safe.

Scott Scambray, Merced Union H.S. District Supt. said, "Once police become involved then everything is turned over to them."

Police are still trying to figure out why Huhndorf had explosives in her classroom. She's being held at the Merced County Jail on a half million dollar bail and is expected to appear in court Friday. Meanwhile, the school is preparing for graduation next Friday.

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