At some point, all parents have to accept that they can’t protect their children forever. However, while they’re still in school, parents trust that teachers will look out for their children and protect them like their own.
Parents from one California high school expected that in their absence, the staff would look after their kids. So when they discovered what one teacher had been doing, they were speechless…
When a California boy was left orphaned after his mother died and his father was sent to prison, he went to live with a family member, who became his legal guardian. In 2013, the boy’s guardian moved them to Beaumont so that he could have a fresh start.
The boy, whose name has not been released to the public, had a history of violent outbursts in school and was enrolled in special education services. “I can’t change what [he and his siblings] went through before they came to me,” the guardian said…
A Stable Home
However, the guardian tried to facilitate a stable home environment by creating and enforcing rules. At first, the changes seemed to be doing the boy some good. He was adjusting well to his new home and was doing alright in school for the first time.
Struggling In School
In 2015, the 14-year-old started his freshman year at Beaumont High School and his grades started slipping just a few months into the school year. The boy’s English teacher, Samantha Lee Ciotta, noticed he was struggling and offered to help…
Ciotta gave the boy extra help outside of class and worked with the school to create an ‘individualized education plan’. The 29-year-old married mom also contacted the boy’s guardian regularly to send her email updates about how he was doing in school.
“I was losing [victim’s name deleted] in the classroom due to his behavior,” Ciotta wrote in one of her email updates. “The last confrontation [he] and I had, I felt, was an eye-opener for him and he was much better yesterday. I hope to see him improve and show some accountability for his grade in my class, as well as all other classes … he has so much potential…”
“She said she was his advocate,” said the boy’s guardian, who trusted Ciotta and was grateful for how much she was doing to help a struggling student. But in the months before the teenager started his sophomore year of high school, his guardian noticed a change in his behavior.
The woman noticed the boy started showing up at home with a brand new iPhone, expensive shoes, and Bluetooth speakers. She hadn’t given him the money to buy those pricey items and was worried about how he possibly got his hands on them…
“At first I thought it was drug money,” she said. The boy started having a bad attitude and when she tried to question him about how he got the expensive items, he got defensive and hit her. Police charged the boy in juvenile court, but he ran away the same day and never went back home.
Still In Touch
Over the next few months, Ciotta continued to send updates about the boy to his guardian like she normally did. However, when the woman tried to attend a meeting in April about the teen’s performance in school, she got a feeling something was going on between Ciotta and the boy…
“She was only there to give me her input and that’s what made it more apparent that something was going on because she attacked me on my upbringing of (the boy),” the guardian said about the teacher’s suspicious behavior. “I told her to stay away from him.”
The Snapchat Video
The guardian’s suspicions were confirmed when a Snapchat video, which showed Ciotta wearing just a shirt and underwear as she drank alcohol with 2 half-dressed, underaged teenagers, started spreading around the students at the school…
A fellow classmate asked the student who originally posted the video if it was really ‘Mrs. Ciotta’. “Yes,” the boy replied. “Bro, I’m gettin’ in deep … been f—— (Ciotta) and getting threesomes for the past couple weeks (at her house).”
A Search Warrant
After police got the Snapchat video, they arrested Ciotta for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a minor. Another student in the video claimed Ciotta had sex with a student. “If [police] have her phone, then they will find out,” the student said. Police then got a warrant to search Ciotta’s phone and her home…
While searching her home, police found the boy’s school records in a home office and a torn up note that Ciotta wrote to her husband to try and explain her relationship with the teenager. Despite all the evidence, the boy refused to talk to the police.
The boy didn’t want to get Ciotta in trouble, but when he heard that Ciotta said he had ruined her life, he decided to tell police everything. According to the teen, he and Ciotta allegedly had sex at least 5 times over the course of their relationship and couldn’t remember how many times Ciotta performed oral sex on him since he was typically drunk while with her…
Ciotta was charged with 1 count of oral copulation with a minor and two 2 counts of sexual intercourse. After the news broke, Beaumont High School placed Ciotta on paid administrative leave. Her husband immediately filed for divorce and was granted sole custody of their 2 children.
The Teacher’s Husband
Ciotta’s husband had previously questioned his wife about her relationship with the teenage boy, but she always denied anything inappropriate was going on. “When asked why kids were spreading those rumors, [he] stated that he thought it was because Ciotta would allow him to spend several periods in her class to do his work,” a police report explained. “When it was time for him to leave, she would walk him to his classes so he would avoid getting a tardy…”
The now 32-year-old former teacher was released from custody on September 21, 2017, just a day after she was arrested, after she posted her $150,000 bond. Ciotta is still awaiting her trial and was scheduled to appear in court on December 27, 2017.
Many parents from the high school are frustrated that the school hasn’t done more to protect their kids. “I’m beyond disturbed by the fact that my son said, ‘Mom a lot of kids know about it,'” said a parent. “I hate that these are issues my son has to deal with on a basis where he sees it as no big deal.”