Docs Show San Diego Unified Was Aware of Troubled Teacher for Years

The Times of San Diego has uncovered evidence that San Diego Unified was aware of a high school teacher’s alleged misconduct for years, but chose to take no action against him. The revelations — which come amid a student groping scandal — fly in the face of four years of denials on the part of the district.

In 2003, the documents show, Martin Teachworth was credibly accused of sticking his hands down a student’s pants. Several more complaints were made during the 2012-2013 school year, prompting calls to school police, yet no disciplinary action was taken and no reports were filed with the state or county DA.

Finally, two former students took it upon themselves to file a formal complaint with California last year. Teachworth, who has since retired, is now under investigation by the state’s Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

The Times of San Diego began inquiring about Teachworth when it received a tip about inappropriate behavior in 2015. The district told the Times it had no records of any complaints. In fact, paperwork reveals the district knew but allowed the teacher to remain in the classroom for more than a decade. Only once, in 2016, was he removed temporarily after an alleged incident.

SDUSD officials say they discovered the documents after the most recent complaint to the Credentialing Commission.

An attorney for Teachworth has refuted the allegations against his client, calling them “outrageous.”