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Teacher arrested for inappropriate relationship with 13-year-old student

A 2022 Teacher of the Year from National City is now accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old former student. KPBS reporter Kitty Alvarado has the details.

A teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary in National City was arrested for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old, the National City Police Department said Tuesday.

On Monday, the National City Police Department was contacted by the parent of the 13-year-old who expressed concern that the teen was having an inappropriate relationship with a former teacher.

The NCPD and School Resource Officers investigated the allegations, and found probable cause to arrest 34-year-old Jacqueline Ma, a current teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary on Tuesday morning.


Maria Felix Solano has two children at the school. She said when she and other parents heard about the arrest, they were surprised and shocked. But she was especially concerned because her daughter has special needs and is non-verbal. "She can’t tell me who is touching her inappropriately or abusing her," Solano said in Spanish.

Ma was booked into Las Colinas Women's Detention Facility on numerous felony charges, according to the NCPD.

No additional information about this case will be released, as the victim is a minor and the investigation is ongoing, the NCPD said.

National School District Superintendent Leighangela Brady visited Lincoln Acres Wednesday to provided support to staff who were distraught. She refused to answer questions, but sent a statement saying the student in the case no longer attends the district.

"We are unaware of any other victims," the statement also said, adding that while the arrest took place on campus, it did not happen in front of students and the campus climate was not interrupted.


"We know that our entire school community is as stunned as we were by this news. The district will cooperate with law enforcement and cannot comment any further on the pending investigation. We will continue to do everything possible to keep our students’ safety, needs, and education first and foremost," the statement concluded.

Solano said she has a lot of questions and other parents do too. She asked that district officials continue to be extra vigilant with teachers, because parents entrust them with their children. "This can happen at other schools," she said. "Be more careful when you hire these types of teachers, investigate them thoroughly please. All of us parents are truly worried."

Music Watson, the chief of staff with the San Diego County Office of Education, sent the following statement: “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.”

Ma posted bail and will be in court on March 14 in Chula Vista. Charges will be announced at the arraignment.

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