Accused Teacher Must Stand Trial

by The Editors on June 2, 2009

Raymond Firth, 37, a teacher who taught at Carlsbad’s Pacific Rim Elementary from March 2000 to October 2007 must stand trial for allegedly molesting two of his students, according to a story in The Coast News.

Firth. . .is charged with four counts of committing a lewd act upon a child stemming from reports by two former students dating back to August 2007. An allegation that he committed the act against more than one victim is attached to the charges.

The two victims were reportedly girls in his third-grade class. According to the story, Firth is in jail on $250,000 bail. And is scheduled to appear in court on June 25, 2009 for a readiness conference. The trial is set to start on October 20, 2009.

[Link: The Coast News]

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

brian June 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Who would want to be a teacher. I know a lot of teachers who have been falsely accused by young students of inappropriate behavior. The prosecutors don’t care about the truth, just a conviction.

firthsguilty June 7, 2009 at 9:59 pm

I can tell you child molestors want to be teachers, it is no coincidence, they choose professions that give them easy access to their victims. What is wrong is that you automatically assume that it is a false accusation. What is wrong is when this happens to your kid and the school is more worried about protecting the teacher so they won’t be sued by the teacher’s union than they are about the child itself. Let me tell you from experience the prosecutors can’t do crap without having enough evidence from more than one child in order to even get to a preliminary hearing. I love teachers, my best friend is a teacher, I have helped out in the classroom but that doesn’t mean they are all perfect and it doesn’t mean that perverts don’t purposely become teachers in order to touch kids. This is not a false accusation and you will eat your words in October when he is convicted. And then you can thank the kids and the parents that came forward for keeping this from happening to others!

A Concerned Parent June 9, 2009 at 12:20 pm

As a parent of a child in which Mr. Firth taught that year I am more concerned and angry about having to read of this in the newspaper instead of being notified by the school or the school district. I feel as a parent I had a right to know sooner than this and I am extremely frustrated with the way the Carlsbad School District handled this. It appears they would rather save face than be concerned with the rights of our children. The possibility of pulling my child out of this school district is highly likely. If Mr. Firth is guilty than a group of citzens like you and me will make that decision and justice will be served. I believe that. My biggest concern is how the Carlsbad School District chose to handle this situation and as a parent I believe I deserve some answers. The Carlsbad School District needs to start using some integrity with its actions and words.

Parent 2 August 19, 2009 at 10:18 am

Why wasn’t a letter sent out to all students parents at the school to see if they too were possible victims??

CUSDParent October 16, 2009 at 2:51 pm

As a parent of one the victims, I echo the sentiments that the CUSD really failed the students and the parents with this matter. Their excuse is they are abiding by the laws protecting his rights. In my opinion though protection of the children trumps everything. As parents we learned of the story from The Coast News as well, and after discussing it with our child we learned the horrific news that she had been scared to bring up with us for two plus years.

In RE: to parent2, I asked this specific question and was told due to privacy laws they were strictly forbidden from doing this. It is unacceptable and the laws must be changed to protect future children from this kind of abuse.

cbad Parent October 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

I am with everyone else here. I too had a son who was rotated into his class when he was in the second grade. I think the district MUST contact all families that this teacher had contact with. I know it is a lot of kids, but really, I live in a bubble and this is the first time I am hearing this. I am sick to my stomach now and really wish the district would have contacted all families. How are we suppose to trust a district when they do not even let us know what is going on that can involve OUR children.

another cbad parent October 19, 2009 at 1:42 pm

They probably don’t notify every family that ever had the teacher because he has not been convicted, and is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Calling everyone or notifying everyone like that would presume guilt before it has been proven, according to the law.

We moved districts, and from Pacific Rim, the year before all of this happened, and I was shocked to see this just today (never heard about it until now). Both of my children had Mr. Firth, in rotation, during their time at Pac Rim, and both said they had never seen or perceived anything remotely inappropriate, perverted or creepy about him or his behavior. Now, that is not to say something didn’t happen in the following years, because the victims allege it did, and my heart goes out to them. However, until the verdict is read, it would be unconstitutional to broadcast to everyone in the district. And it could cause false victims, who were never actually victimized, to jump on the bandwagon. There have been cases where people have been wrongly accused, where suddenly everyone around was a victim, only to find later on, that ALL the accusations were false. Not saying that is the case here, but that DOES happen sometimes, so that is why it is kept more private.

Since mass notification is not an option, parents should encourage continued open communication with their children at all times, and hopefully if something like this happens, the children will speak up, like these children did. This is just horrible for everyone.

CUSD Watchdog October 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm

The very moment Carlsbad Unified realized the media was onto Ray, any silence — justified or not — needed to be broken right then and there.

CUSD Watchdog October 23, 2009 at 6:33 am

another cbad parent – Is it still okay for the district to protect Mr. Firth’s “innocent until proven otherwise” rights while deciding to go after another employee with only blinded thoughts of RED FLAG!! and GUILTY!!?? Firth’s foes = students and families; other employee’s foes = administration and teachers who worked most directly with Firth or replaced him outright. Hmm… connect the dots…

another cbad parent October 23, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I do realize that for all those affected, it is aggrevating to find out about the assaults after so much time had passed. However, it appears to me that as soon as the case was opened, and he was being investigated, he was removed from the classroom, which would mean that the district removed the threat of additional victims. I imagine that they did everything within the letter of the law.

CUSD watchdog, I can tell from your various postings that you have your own issues with the administration. It just seems to me that they are doing their best to avoid being sued. That is just what school districts and other government agencies do: CYA. You appear to be an unfortunate casualty of that war.

another cbad parent October 23, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Another thing we might want to consider is this: If the district sent out a letter describing the alleged attacks, it could lead to mass hysteria, and many false accusations coming out of children of panicked parents. That could create a huge opening for a defense attorney to prove that even the REAL victims could be lying. And all of a sudden, a guilty person could walk away scott free. The investigators and district attorney will want to make sure the testimony is as accurate and indisputable as possible.

Besides, by the time a letter would have gone went out, even if it were legal to do so, it would have been too late to do anyone any good, because the teacher had already been removed from the classroom. Sadly, all the victims were already victims. I hope that once parents hear about this case, they will calmly question their children, and report any suspected abuse to the authorities. that is probably all that can be done at this point.

cbad parent May 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I just found out when the verdict was read about Mr. Firth. No excused for keeping this quiet, it was not by the suggestion from the prosecutors office. I find it very interesting this was about the same time that the then principal, Mr. Ahle, was moved to a new school. Coincidence? I don’t believe with CUSD there is such a thing as coincidence?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: