CERES -- A high school teacher was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Matthew Beale, 24, was "arrested for unlawful contact with a minor using an electronic device and unlawful physical contact with a minor," according to the e-mail sent by the Ceres Unified School District to parents of students at Whitmore Charter High School.
Assistant Superintendent Jay Simmonds said the charges stem from an alleged inappropriate relationship between Beale and one of his math students. He said he could not discuss the nature of the claims or the age and gender of the student.
Simmonds said the student's parents complained to administrators Tuesday, who notified police and immediately put Beale on paid administrative leave. On Wednesday, he was "released from employment," Simmonds said. He would not say whether Beale was fired or resigned.
"Mr. Beale is no longer an employee of the Ceres Unified School District, and we are doing all we can to assure that he cannot be on the grounds of any of the schools and that he is prohibited from contacting students, parents or staff members," the e-mail states.
Beale was arrested Wednesday afternoon and booked at the downtown men's jail on suspicion of annoying or molesting a child younger than 18 and sending harmful matter to a minor for arousal or for the purpose of seducing the minor.
He is being held on $10,000 bail.
Reached after business hours, Ceres police spokesman Sgt. Jose Berber was aware of the investigation involving Beale but did not have any information about the investigation.
A woman who answered the phone at Beale's Turlock home hung up on a Bee reporter seeking comment.
Beale started teaching at Whitmore Charter High School in August after earning his teaching credential in May. The "hybrid home school" has 150 students at its campus at Don Pedro and McGee roads. About 440 kindergarten through eighth-grade students also take classes at the site.
The e-mail informs parents, "While this appears to be an isolated incident involving one student, anyone with additional information" should call police.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209)578-2366.