A California elementary school teacher, once named a “Teacher of the Year,” was arrested after allegedly “having an inappropriate relationship” with a student.
Citing San Diego County Sheriff’s records, NBC San Diego reported Jacqueline Ma, a 6th-grade teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School, has been charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and three counts of oral copulation with a child under 14.
National City Police wrote in a statement, “a concerned parent who suspected that her 13-year-old child was possibly having an inappropriate relationship with a former teacher” alerted authorities on March 6. Police say Ma was arrested Tuesday morning.
District Superintendent Leighangela Brady confirmed to NBC San Diego in a statement that Ma was arrested on campus and booked at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility. She also indicated the district only knows of one alleged victim, who is reportedly no longer a student in the district.
Fox 5 reported Ma was released from custody on a $100,000 bond after initially being arrested on Tuesday, but police later indicated she had been arrested again following a “surveillance operation.”
Ma is in custody without bail at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility, per Fox 5.
Ma was named one of five San Diego Teachers of the Year in 2022-2023 as part of the annual Salute to Teachers event held by the San Diego County of Education in partnership with Cox Communications, per NBC San Diego
“We are shocked and saddened by allegations of inappropriate conduct by a local teacher of the year. While the legal process unfolds, our focus is on supporting the school district in providing a safe, stable learning environment for students,” the San Diego Office of Education told Fox 5.
When asked if Ma would be stripped of her “Teacher of the Year” title, the office told the outlet it would “take action as appropriate upon conclusion of the legal process.”
The investigation is ongoing, and Ma is expected in court on March 14, per NBC San Diego
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