Parents of students attending Encinal High School in Alameda, a California town located just east of San Francisco, are demanding that the school fire a teacher responsible for sending their kids home with a disturbing extra credit assignment.
That assignment was to go home, find sex toys and condoms in their parents’ private drawers and to take “selfie” photos of what they find.
School officials, said they could not comment the incident involving Wing-Wah Leung, a math teacher, because of the ongoing investigation. It is alleged that Leung asked members of his 10th grade sophomore class to complete the assignment to receive extra credit on their final grades.
Two mothers, Kimberly Cobene and Evangeline Garcia, heard about the sex toy assignment from a counselor at an afterschool program that their daughters attended.
“It was to go into your parents’ private drawers or whatever to seek out sexual toys or condoms, or anything of that nature and to take a selfie with it…” “From what I understand, a student actually did it and he used that as an example of what it should look like for the other students,” Cobene said.
School officials suggested that the assignment may have been a joke but parents expressed doubt that the assignment was a joke. Garcia said:
“If the kids took it as a joke, then why did one kid take it serious and actually did the extra credit work, and was shown as an example in class?”
“We don’t feel comfortable with our children in his presence. All they could tell us is that, ‘Oh, this is an HR issue. It’s being investigated.’ They are not at liberty to tell me anything other than that. It’s kinda been the runaround.”
In response to the feeling that the school district was stalling, Alameda Unified School District spokeswoman Susan Davis said:
“Student safety is of utmost priority to us, but under state law and board policy we cannot reveal details into an investigation of an employee.”
With regard to the incident, Davis said:
“That is the story that is being told, I can’t give you a lot of details. We do take these allegations seriously, so when our site administrators, meaning the administrators at Encinal High School heard this story they immediately reported to it to district office here and that’s exactly how it should have happened.
That’s our protocol. That’s our policy.
Unfortunately, while I know that the public and parents would really like to hear more details, we have to keep the details of the investigation confidential…”
School district officials sent students home with a letter explaining why officials are being vague about the incident saying:
“Both the law and board policy require AUSD to keep details of this situation confidential. And this is done both to protect all parties involved and also to preserve the integrity of the ongoing investigation.”
The moms want the district to fire the teacher. “If the school and the district doesn’t protect them (the children), I will. I will,” Cobene said.