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Santa Clara Unified places Dominic Caserta on paid leave

Following more than a week of virtual silence on the issue, Santa Clara Unified School District announced Friday that it had placed embattled civics teacher Dominic Caserta on paid leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.
Caserta, who taught civics at Santa Clara High School, has come under fire in recent weeks amid allegations he sexually harassed multiple students and campaign staffers. Caserta had been a member of the Santa Clara City Council and was running for a seat on the county board of supervisors, but resigned his post and suspended his campaign amid the revelations.
In the last week or so, at least 10 people have filed complaints against Caserta with the Santa Clara police.
At least one harassment complaint dates back to 2002 and only came to light when Caserta’s district personnel file was mistakenly sent to the entire staff. The district has not responded to questions about why Caserta was allowed to remain in a classroom.
“We are aware of our community’s questions and concerns, and we take student and staff safety very seriously,” Superintendent Stan Rose said in a statement. “We have been challenged to immediately and directly respond to these questions and concerns due to confidentiality and due process laws and policies which apply to all of our certificated employees.”
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Earlier this week, the district said it would create a new harassment task force and expand training.
“We are appalled and disappointed with these allegations,” Rose said. “We are committed to ensuring that each allegation is thoroughly investigated. We take each and every claim seriously.”

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