According to the Contra Costa Times, a new California state law that was written to protect students from teachers’ sexual misconduct had a brief loophole that allowed a teacher who was fired for alleged child sex abuse to be hired at another school.
Ron Guinto, 32, had been held last autumn on multiple charges: kidnapping, forcible lewd acts on a child, sending lewd images to a minor over the Internet, forcible oral copulation on a minor and forcible sodomy on a child while he was working at Making Waves Academy in Richmond.
He was fired in November, but hired in January to teach at was hired to teach at the Mira Vista Elementary School in the West Contra Costa Unified School District. Guinto had previously worked in that district as a substitute teacher. He was arrested on March 5, apparently to face the earlier charges.
The West Contra Costa Unified School District admitted that it never checked Guinto’s references.
Last September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 449, which was supported by the California Teachers Association. The Times reports that the California Teachers Association supported the law, stating that it would move toward “ensuring that persons who pose a threat to students will be removed from the classroom and barred from working in any school in the state.”
But Guinto left Making Waves before the law’s implementation, and Making Waves CEO Alton Nelson would not confirm whether he reported Guinto’s firing to authorities. Mira Vista Elementary Principal Gabriel Chilcott informed parents that the state never got the information about Guinto’s history.
Even if the state had received the information, because Guinto’s credential was not suspended or revoked, the state was not bound to reveal any information. If an investigation had been launched, the state would not have been required to reveal any information unless Guinto’s credential was suspended or revoked.
When Guinto applied at Mira Vista, the Times notes, he was fingerprinted, and the prints were sent to the FBI and DOJ, but he had a clean record. His resume did not show he had left Making Waves. The resume also included five letters of recommendation highly praising his work, all written before he had been investigated.