Flutes given to CUSD students may have been contaminated with semen

SUPPORT THIS INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM
The article you are about to read comes from our journalists doing their important job – investigating, researching and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspiring stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires a lot of resources. Today, our economic model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ activities have been impacted. This is why the PD time now looks to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider Program here. Thanks.

An example of the allegedly contaminated flutes given to some CUSD students. Photo: Courtesy of CUSD

The Ministry of Justice is investigating a presenter of the musical program “Flutes around the World”

By Allison Jarrel

Students in the Capistrano Unified School District and other Southern California school districts may have come into contact with flutes contaminated with semen, according to statements released by school district officials.

CUSD sent an email Friday, Sept. 29, alerting parents that the district was made aware Thursday of an ongoing California Department of Justice investigation involving an individual who provided flutes to children at a a music education program that may have been “inappropriately contaminated with the suspect’s bodily fluid. The District clarified that the suspect is not an employee of the District.

CUSD communications officer Ryan Burris said in email correspondence that the suspect ran the music program at certain school sites in the district, but did not identify the schools in question. Burris said that as part of the program, “students may have been given a flute made out of PVC plastic pipes and a single wine cork that they could decorate.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking all families who may have had children involved in this type of program, either at school or in the community, to remove these flutes from your child’s possession and place them in a sealed paper bag,” Burris said. . “The district is working with law enforcement to determine how they want these items collected, if they need them for additional evidence. Please do not bring these items to your school site.

Burris went on to say that it is not dangerous for families to keep the flutes in sealed paper bags, but “it would be inappropriate and unsanitary” for children to continue to have contact with them.

“We understand this is deeply upsetting to our families and you may be looking for more details than we can provide,” Burris said. “The California Department of Justice and the United States Postal Inspection Service are continuing their investigation and we are unable to provide further details until they close this case.”

Since the first news of the potential contamination, other school districts have posted statements on their websites, including Los Angeles Unified School District, Fullerton School District and Saugus Union School District.

Some of the statements from other school districts disclosed more specific information. Saugus Union and LA Unified officials identified the alleged “bodily fluid” as semen. And the statement from the Fullerton School District identified the suspect as a presenter for the Flutes Around the World music program, which was sponsored by the Orange County Philharmonic Society at those schools.

“We have been notified by the California Department of Justice that an individual, who presented music programs sponsored by the Orange County Philharmonic Society to students in grades four through six at Golden Hill and Rolling Hills Elementary Schools during the 2016-2017 school year is under an ongoing investigation for sexual misconduct,” Fullerton School District officials said in a Sept. 30 statement. “While presenters at our schools are never alone with children and are always supervised by a teacher or school staff, out of an abundance of caution this presenter will not be returning to the Fullerton School District. We have been informed that this individual has worked in a number of school districts across California and we have no evidence to suggest that any of our students are connected to the investigation.

Fullerton School District officials said that while some other school districts were asked by investigators to retrieve the program flutes, the Fullerton School District checked with the Fullerton Police Department and their program flutes were not found. didn’t need to be tested or collected for the police. ministry or ministry of justice.

Chantel Chen Uchida, vice president of marketing and public relations for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, said in a statement that the organization is “shocked and deeply concerned by the allegations surrounding this program.” Uchida said the Philharmonic Society is “one of many arts organizations and schools sponsoring Flutes Across the World program presentations.”

“We care deeply about our community and the children in our community, and have immediately terminated our affiliation with this program,” Uchida said. “We will continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation. For more than 60 years, the Philharmonic Society has provided arts and educational programs to people of all ages in our community, and we remain committed to that mission.

To view the full CUSD email alert, read below:

To view the full CUSD email alert, read below:


Dear CUSD Families:

We were notified late yesterday by the California Department of Justice of an ongoing investigation involving an individual, who was not a district employee, who may have provided education and music programs at some of our school sites, other locations in Orange County, and school districts in Southern California. As part of this program, students may have received a PVC plastic pipe flute and a single cork that they could decorate. We have attached a photo of these alleged flutes for your reference.

Today we have further consulted with law enforcement and have been advised that these flutes may have been inappropriately contaminated with the suspect’s bodily fluids.

Out of an abundance of caution, we ask all families who may have had children participate in this type of program either at school or in the community to remove these flutes from your child’s possession and place them in a sealed place paper bag. The district is working with law enforcement to determine how they want these items collected, if they need them for additional evidence. Please do not bring these items to your school site.

The District is advised that It is not dangerous for you to keep these flutes sealed paper bag, but it would be inappropriate and unsanitary for your child to continue to have contact with it.

We understand this is deeply upsetting to our families and you may be looking for more details than we can provide. The California Department of Justice and the United States Postal Inspection Service are continuing their investigation and we are unable to provide further details until they close this case.

We will update you as we receive further communications from local and state law enforcement.

Thanks,

Ryan Burris
Head of Communications

BECOME AN INSIDER TODAY
Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news is more important than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscriber today.

Comments are closed.