Yucaipa, California – Tracy Vanderhulst, a 38-year-old teacher from Yucaipa High School, has been arrested on charges of engaging in sexual activity with a student. The incident marks the third case of a similar nature at the school within the past decade. Vanderhulst, who was honored as the ‘Teacher of the Year’ in 2017, was taken into custody on Thursday and subsequently booked into the San Bernardino County detention center. Her bail has been set at $30,000.
The allegations against Vanderhulst involve engaging in sexual activity with a 16-year-old male student. She is now facing charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Vanderhulst, who is married to Justin and has two children, has been a respected member of the school community.
In a now-deleted tweet, the school praised Vanderhulst, highlighting her dedication to providing a rigorous mathematics curriculum and caring for her students. A school YouTube video titled ‘In The Classroom’ featuring Vanderhulst teaching a math honors course to mostly freshman students remains online.
Upon receiving the ‘Teacher of the Year’ award in 2017, Vanderhulst was commended for her innovative teaching methods and her ability to engage all students, regardless of their academic level.
The Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District has expressed its cooperation with authorities during the investigation and released an official statement emphasizing the priority placed on the safety and well-being of students. The district stated that prompt action will be taken against those involved, including any individuals who may have been aware of the allegations but failed to act. The district also confirmed its commitment to promptly reporting any future allegations to law enforcement.
Detectives are currently investigating the possibility of additional victims in the case. In an effort to encourage others to come forward, Vanderhulst’s picture has been released to the public.
The recent incident marks the third occurrence within a span of fewer than ten years where a female teacher at Yucaipa High School has been found to have engaged in a sexual relationship with a student. In one previous case in 2015, a teacher was involved in a sexual affair with a student who happened to be dating her daughter.
Yucaipa, situated 10 miles east of San Bernardino in San Bernardino County, California, is known as a deeply conservative town. The community is now grappling with the troubling pattern of misconduct within the school and its potential impact on student safety.
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