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-Stadler, the 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?"
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