Parents react to sexual abuse allegations surrounding former Alhambra High School admin

Alhambra High School | Photo by Alfred Dicioco1Alhambra High School | Photo by Alfred Dicioco
Alhambra High School | Photo by Alfred Dicioco2Alhambra High School | Photo by Alfred Dicioco
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Parents, school officials, and former Alhambra High School students expressed shock and disgust after a woman posted a YouTube video Friday accusing an assistant principal of sexual abuse.

Some Alhambra parents found the video unbelievable, and some even thought it was a joke. "I sent the link to my husband, and he was wondering if it was some sort of bad prank," said Angel Alhambra Awuma, the parent of a freshman at AHS. "Then I felt panicked because I remembered this woman being introduced at freshman orientation and I was scared for my daughter Ajah, and any of the other students at Alhambra High. I was hoping it was a fake video because I felt so upset that this child predator was allowed to work with students!"

A 28-year-old woman with the username Jamie X posted Friday a YouTube video of what appears to be a phone call with then AHS Assistant Principal of Student Services Andrea Cardosa. Jamie accused Cardosa of sexually abusing her for years, starting at age 12, and claims that the former teacher manipulated and brainwashed her. The woman on the phone did not deny the allegations. Later that day, Cardosa resigned and is no longer employed by the Alhambra Unified School District, according to school officials.

AUSD officials maintain they performed a background check on Cardosa and checked references. Still Patricia Mendiola, whose son graduated from AHS, was shocked that the district hired Cardosa. "Unbelievable that people would dare touch a kid. I'm disgusted that Alhambra Unified School District would hire such a person," Mendiola said. "Kudos to the girl who had the guts to call her and tell her why she did it and how dare she still is working around kids. I commend her for having the guts to confront her."

Star Torres, an AHS alum and sister of a sophomore at the school, said she is confident that the district will make sure the incident does not happen again. "I felt safe when I went to Alhambra. But then again, things change," Torres said. "So hopefully AUSD will change their ways of hiring their administrators and make sure that the kids are safe since that's one of their primary jobs."

Irma Uc, a former Reporter Corps participant whose sister will enter AHS in the fall, was also frightened by the video. "It makes me suspicious of any faculty member. It makes me nervous and unsafe," Uc said. "My sister is still completely wholesome and kids at that age tend to be. So the possibility of someone stealing their youth away makes me really mad and anxious."

Adele Andrade-Stadlerthe high school's PTA president and AUSD school board member, asked herself what she could do as a parent to help prevent a similar situation from happening again. "I think what’s important to take away from this incident, is that as parents, we should reinforce how important open communication is with our kids, and if challenged, seek help for your students," said Andrade-Stadler. "Encouraging open communication really does begin when a child is young, because trust is formed so young. You cannot help but think, where were her parents? Did she have both, or one that she could have confide in?"

Alhambra Source wants to hear from you. How did you feel when you heard the news? Email editor@alhambrasource.org or leave your comment below.

About the author: Nasrin Aboulhosn

Nasrin Aboulhosn is the Editorial Fellow at Alhambra Source. Nasrin grew up in Alhambra and is excited about bridging community news with local interest. You can contact her at nasrin@alhambrasource.org. Twitter: @nasrinab

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Yes, you can do all the background checks you want. BUT, how can you catch anyone who never has a record. There should be simple policies that parents and educators should teach the kids. NEVER be in a room alone with an adult. If you are make sure that people outside the class room can see inside. I do think that there should be more windows to every classroom. In this case, the more exposures there are the less people would incline to commit a crime.

The woman is the video said that the statute of limitations expired, so Cardosa was never brought to justice. Therefore, outrage at AUSD is unjustified and a complete non-issue. AUSD could have done nothing to prevent this. In fact, outrage at this incident is completely pointless. People are angrier today with one less child molester at AHS than they were a week ago when she was still there. Sh*t happens. Unpreventable. Move on.

I'm disappointed at some of this misplaced blame at the AUSD. Mind you I agree that perhaps they can use this to change the way they do background checks, however the real blame lies with the school district where the abuse took place, and the other teachers and administrators who failed to see the signs of abuse happening to this girl. The system failed her, that is the one thing that is certain.

Just because this woman is no longer going to be working in schools does not make our children any safer than they were yesterday. There is always a danger like this with anyone in an authority position to abuse that position. TALK TO YOUR KIDS! Be involved with their school and meet their teachers. As a parent I know that it's a fine line between warning your kids about these kinds of dangers and not wanting to scare them, but you have to find that balance and be there for them.

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