by Sebastian Squire
On the evening of January 8, 2020, local police arrested a Miramonte teacher at her home. Some accused the teacher of two inappropriate relationships dating back to 1996 and 1998.
Kyle Ann Wood is a Physical Education teacher at Miramonte “arrested last night on sex abuse charges for alleged relationships she had with two students over 20 years ago,” stated ABC 7 news on January 9, the day after the arrest. The source goes on to state, “The district attorney filed felony sex charges against Wood. She was booked into jail and is being held on $150,000 bail.” According to a complaint submitted to a local court the alleged incident in question took place, “on or between October 1, 1997 and June 11, 1998.” Few details are available regarding the alleged crimes themselves and the identity of the alleged victims is unknown, as the alleged victims were minors at the time of the alleged crimes.
The state of California requires several background checks for those seeking jobs involving children. According to the Center of Social Services webpage, “The Child Abuse Central Index name check is an additional check required for individuals who will be associated to any facility that cares for children.” The Child Abuse Central Index is a database storing records of all child abuse from the state of California reported to law enforcement. In addition to a Child Abuse Central Index name check, teachers must also undergo a criminal record clearence. Once an employee passes each of these tests they may work. If an individual is fired, or the individual leaves a place of employment, “he/she must be associated to another facility within 3 years or he/she will become inactive. If an individual becomes inactive, he/she must be fingerprinted and cleared again before working,” states the website.
Even with all of these precautionary measures, some students still fear for their safety at school. A Las Lomas Sophomore, Andrew Martinez Cabrera, said, “by definition, school should be a safe place but my perspective on this issue has changed quite a bit,” but Cabrera was also sure to highlight the trusted adults at school saying, “some of the teachers here at Las Lomas are some of the most thoughtful, amazing people I have come to know so if I ever need some adult guidance, I have some staff members in mind to chat things out.” Also placing emphasis on the importance of student safety was Miramonte Principal Julia Parks, who in a statement provided to The Page said, “My top concern is our students and ensuring that they have the proper support.”