By Robert Haugh
Since Jenn Wadsworth of Metro Newspapers broke the Dominic Caserta scandal on May 8, the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) has sent out two press releases this week.
They’re long. They talk about a lot of policies and how to report harassment. But none of them mention Caserta — the Santa Clara High School teacher accused of sexually harassing multiple students and minors. If you read the press releases, you’d have no idea what the entire Bay Area press and the entire Mission City has been talking about nonstop for a week.
You can read the SCUSD releases below. (Note: drink coffee first). There’s not one word about Caserta in two long press releases –none.
Here’s an interesting comparison. In a story in the Mercury News yesterday, the South San Francisco School District reports an arrest of teacher:
On the home page of the school district’s website, Superintendent Shawnterra Moore addressed the arrest and wrote that (teacher Joseph) Toy was placed on on administrative before criminal charges were filed.
“The teacher remains on administrative leave and will no longer be on any of our campuses pending the outcome of this case,” Moore wrote. “District and school leaders are cooperating closely with SSFPD officers as they continue their criminal investigation.”
Santa Clara City Council Meeting
Councilwoman Patty Mahan wouldn’t say Caserta’s name either Tuesday night. That’s when the major agenda item was about Caserta and his alleged victims. Some of them claimed that Caserta sexually harassed them and stalked them. Some said that their teacher verbally and physically abused them. It was terrible news and led to his resignation.
Mahan tells Caserta’s victims in the audience that their alleged abuse is like her having cancer. Huh? It was a strange moment for everyone in the room. This sign shows how people felt about Mahan’s odd speech:
Then, Mahan goes into a tirade about how they need to let the voters select a new councilmember. No kidding. You can watch her for yourself on YouTube from 1:27:45 to 1:32:35.
Is Caserta now Santa Clara’s Voldemort? That’s the Dark Lord who’s the evil figure in the Harry Potter books. No witch or wizard will say his name. They have to refer to him instead as “You-Know-Who” or “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
Maybe the next SCUSD press release will refer to “Former Teacher You-Know-Who.”
Maybe at the next council meeting Mahan will refer to “Former Councilmember He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
This school district hides much more than this. Look deeper
20 years ago, Caserta used to teach at Aquinas High School in San Bernardino, CA over. He was highly recommended and brought on board by the Principle, Father Andrew Sotelo, S.J., One evening, I was passing my daughter’s bedroom, I heard her talking on the telephone. She was telling whoever was on it, she didn’t want to tell him the color of her underwear. I was shocked and demanded to know who was on the phone. My daughter told me it was Caserta, a teacher at her high school. She was 15 years old at the time. The next morning, I called the office and demanded that Caserta call me, which he did on his lunchtime. He told me that he “loved” my daughter and that he was sure we’d get along great, and that he wanted to marry her! I told him he was f___ing crazy. I called the principal and demanded a meeting. When my wife and I went in to meet with Father Andrew Sotelo, there was a nun at the meeting as well. When I expressed my outrage at Caserta’s behavior, the principle told us that my daughter was pursuing Caserta and it was all documented, and that she better never go into his classroom again. My daughter’s school friends all knew what was happening and confirmed her side that said Caserta pursued her relentlessly. They confirmed he frequently told my daughter to come into his class after hours, even though he was not her teacher. He went into her student file to get our phone #, he even sent her a letter saying he wanted to f___ her! I threatened to go to the local newspaper, but the principle said it would stop. I think Caserta left after that year. Some years later, Andrew Sotelo was on an episode of 60 minutes for sexual harassment. Look up his name on Google. He currently is a student advisor at Culver City School District.
Dear Robert Haugh!
I am so thankful that you have been covering this issue diligently, you are doing an outstanding job! I love reading your articles. This issue is dear to my heart as my daughter attends SC High where Mr. Caserta is still employed. I have sent emails to the school and the district and am getting such careful responses:
Re: Dominic Caserta
HI Ms. Delloilo-
Thank you for emails. SCUSD takes all allegations regarding employees very seriously. The district has a process to ensure that all allegations are investigated. However, the district cannot address questions regarding a specific employee due to confidentiality reasons.
Andrew C. Lucia
Assistant Superintendent, School Support and District Development
Santa Clara Unified School District