More Harassment Claims Surface Against Santa Clara County Supe Candidate Dominic Caserta

Lydia Jungkind began working for Dominic Caserta’s campaign for Santa Clara County supervisor because he promised her a glowing reference if she helped him win.

The 19-year-old German exchange student welcomed the opportunity to work alongside the Santa Clara councilman. Caserta, 43, a veteran high school civics instructor who met Jungkind through his side job teaching political science at Footill College, offered her a paid gig as field director.

But she quickly learned to dread going to work at the campaign headquarters, which is at his house. It wasn’t just Caserta’s flirtatious comments about her appearance, about how sexy she looked, she says. It was also the kisses on the cheeks. The hugs.

She says he walked around with only a bath towel around his waist on several occasions. Sources say he offered her a Corona and a shot of vodka, which she refused, at a recent barbecue fundraiser for his campaign and that he repeatedly promised a cocaine-and-booze-fueled celebration if he won the race to replace District 4 Supervisor Ken Yeager.

When Caserta offered to drive Jungkind the half-mile to the bus stop in his Mercedes-Benz GLK SUV one day earlier this year, she says he placed his hand on her thigh and told her that it’s hard for him to resist the urge to kiss her.

“He also told me that German cars, like German girls, are the best,” Jungkind says.

Texts Jungkind sent to a Crueldad earlier this year after Caserta allegedly touched her inappropriately in his car.

One time, he called Jungkind into his bedroom, where she says he lay under the covers with no shirt on. Another day, Caserta called her to his young son’s room where the would-be mentor allegedly told her how lovely she looked and kissed her on the cheek.

Jungkind pauses to fight back emotion while recounting that last scene.

“It’s hard just thinking about this,” she says, looking away to maintain her composure. “There were people in the house, but I was intimidated. I felt really small, I guess.”

Having worked as an Oktoberfest waitress in her native Germany, Jungkind says she thought she had a pretty high tolerance for unwelcome advances.

But she says Caserta drove her to her breaking point.

Paper Trail

Jungkind’s testimony shared exclusively with San Jose Inside follows similar allegations of misconduct leveled against Caserta by his former campaign manager, Ian Crueldad. Their accounts also come amid revelations of past improprieties by Caserta, who has yet to respond to requests for comment but issued a press release on his campaign website in which he unequivocally denies the allegations.

“They are simply false and made up,” he wrote. “They were investigated thoroughly by the district and I was exonerated.”

According to the school’s own records, however, Caserta was not exonerated. A personnel file that the Santa Clara Unified School District seems to have inadvertently leaked to its entire staff shows that the civics teacher has battled allegations of sexual harassment since he first began working at Santa Clara High in the early 2000s, and that claims against him were sustained. Those records, in addition to accounts from more than 30 sources who spoke to San Jose Inside in the past week, indicate that he repeatedly came under fire for varying degrees of impropriety, from inappropriate touching, to sexually charged comments, angry outbursts and various policy violations.

In 2002, Santa Clara police Officer Brian Allen was twice summoned to Santa Clara High in response to allegations that Caserta sexually harassed students. On May 22 that year, a senior in Caserta’s fourth-period civics class went to administrators with claims that the teacher had given her unwanted hugs, placed his hand on the small of her back and that he had previously run his fingers through her hair, made sexually suggestive comments about her outfits and mentioned having an erection in class.

The girl’s mom wrote a letter to the school about how traumatized her 17-year-old was by Caserta’s actions and words, including comments about her wearing “slut clothing.”

“My daughter has told me that she has had nightmares about the teacher and that he was chasing her, and that it was at the school grounds,” the mother wrote. “She comes home from school crying, and this is a child who loves school. It is my opinion that something must be done. This is not acceptable behavior from a teacher, especially by a male teacher who should know better.”

Dominic Caserta at a May 7 candidate forum, right after finding out that San Jose Inside obtained records from his personnel file.

The day after the student reported Caserta to school officials, Santa Clara High’s then-Principal Brad Syth and Vice Principal Dave Grissom reviewed Caserta’s class roster to find other female students to interview. Officer Allen arrived to help and summoned two girls to help corroborate the other student’s account. When Syth, Grissom and Allen asked the two girls to describe Caserta, they called him flirtatious.

“He dresses us down with his eyes,” one girl said, according to school records and a recollection of the meeting she described this week to San Jose Inside. “He makes comments to us all the time. He thinks we enjoy this, but we don’t.”

The district determined that there was enough evidence to sustain the claim of sexual harassment and told him to restrain himself or risk losing his job or getting sued.

“You are to refrain from personal conversation with people in the workplace about yourself or others that have any sexual connotation,” SCUSD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Butch Pastorini told Caserta in a letter dated June 27, 2002. “The district has significant potential liability for any negative conduct that creates a hostile work environment. The district will not tolerate it and will take necessary action to assure that it does not continue. Your behavior and comments seriously affect your students and co-workers. You must be aware of the potential for personal liability if you were sued for sexual harassment.”

Caserta—who emphatically denied the claims in written statements sent to the district—was let off with a stern warning.

Similar allegations surfaced in 2009. On March 18 that year, a student came to Syth to complain about Caserta inappropriately hugging her after class. Syth describes her as “visibly shaken up and crying” while describing the encounter.

The student says she asked Caserta about a test during class, but got shut down when he told her to “quit whining.” He then allegedly demanded that she stay after class.

“I’d rather not,” she reportedly replied.

“No, I need you to stay,” Caserta said while pointing at the floor beside his desk, according to the student’s account.

After the students left class, Caserta asked her what was wrong.

“You’re a bright girl, you’re a beautiful girl,” he allegedly told her.

Then, records describe him saying, “Do you need a hug? Give me a hug.”

School records show that Caserta explained away the situation by saying he noticed that the student had been distraught and that he put his arm around her in a show of sympathy. But the gesture made the student “uncomfortable” enough that the school let her withdraw from his class to avoid further emotional distress.

Other complaints over the years involve policy violations that speak to a lack of  judgment. In 2002, records show that Caserta got in trouble for distributing the Golden State Exam for students to complete over the weekend, which disqualified all of his advanced-placement students from any recognition they might have had from taking the test. Caserta wrote a letter saying he was “deeply sorry” for the misstep.

Years later, in October of 2007, Santa Clara High investigated complaints that Caserta solicited financial help for his council campaign from students and former students. He denied the claims, and said his campaign committee must’ve sent the emails in question and may have obtained the contact information from index cards he collects at the beginning and destroys at the end of each school year asking for students’ names, parents’ names, favorite movies and email addresses.

“That begs the question as to how the campaign committee gained access to them,” then-SCUSD Superintendent Steve Stavis wrote in a warning letter to Caserta.

In a warning letter, Stavis urged Caserta to hold himself to a higher standard.

“In a very real sense, your political life exists within the figurative fishbowl,” Stavis told him in disciplinary records. “It is hoped that an otherwise commendable political career does not become tainted by any improprieties.”

#CasertaToo

Official records combined with myriad personal accounts paint a picture of a man who struggles to control his impulsivity.

Texts that Jungkind sent to Crueldad last week after a conversation with Caserta.

Several students who took his class in high school described him giving “cute girls” special treatment, giving them extra credit and having them sit at the front of the room. He let some of them drive his car off campus without supervision to pick up smoothies or fast food. Other girls say they were subject to his insults and mean-spirited bullying, either because they rebuffed his advances or because he never found them attractive in the first place.

At least one male campaign volunteer says he quit because of Caserta’s “locker room talk.” And last week, Caserta’s former campaign manager, Ian Crueldad, came to San Jose Inside with allegations that the candidate paraded around half-naked in front of his largely young cohort of volunteers.

Crueldad’s public account emboldened Jungkind to come forward, she says. The two describe a candidate who became uncomfortably unprofessional in their presence. They shared text messages they exchanged over the past few months in which they confide in each other and with friends about alleged misbehavior.

Jungkind says Caserta asked her last week to defend him to San Jose Inside. She declined. She says he then asked her what he should do about Crueldad going to the media with the bath towel story.

“He said, ‘Should we hired a lawyer to threaten him, hire somebody to punch the shit out of him or just ignore him?,’” Jungkind says.

Despite Caserta’s documented history of demeaning women, the candidate holds himself out as a champion of the #MeToo movement. But the allegations prompted his campaign consultant Laura Teutschel to resign Tuesday after Bay Area Women’s March co-organizer Jennie Richardson and Michele Dauber, who leads the campaign to recall Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky, withdrew their endorsements.

“These allegations are disturbing and deeply disappointing,” Dauber tells San Jose Inside. “I and the rest of the Recall [Perksy] leadership feel personally betrayed. Our hearts go out to the students and young women who made these allegations. ... The point of the recall campaign is to say enough is enough. We need to hold these public officials accountable for misbehavior.”

Syth and Caserta’s attorney, John Mlnarik, have yet to provide comment.

This article has been updated to include a statement from Caserta. 

Jennifer Wadsworth is the News Editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

106 Comments

  1. Michelle Dauber and the Recall Persky campaign should immediately unendorse Caserta. Anything less would be shameful

      • Uuuuh maybe she should have talked to people who actually know this creep before she hitched her wagon to Creepy Caserta

        • Or at least not completely blown it off on the record when the story first broke days ago. Should we believe people who come forward only when it’s our pet issue, not someone we like?

    • How man Democratic Party members knew about the creep and went along because he knew how to say the politically correct thing? He was their champion as long as his behavior was not public!

    • Michelle Dauber correctly withdrew support of Casserta based on unproven allegations yet she continues to support Laurie Smith. The allegation against Smith is supported by two independent witnesses, including a retired sergeant yet many choose to not believe them. It seems like in the #metoo movement, if you don’t like the accused, you believe the accusations but if you like the accused then you don’t believe them.

    • Concerned Voter,

      What is shameful is conflating Judge Persky with this, when he has never been legitimately accused of any wrongdoing. The “Recall Persky” women went after an honest, upstanding judge simply because they didn’t like the way he performed his job duties. So they went on the warpath.

      But they wouldn’t have gone ballistic if the judge had been a female, who ruled exactly the same way. Likewise, they didn’t go after the sentencing committee (whose recommendation was followed by the judge), since a woman is part of the committee. Instead, they carefully parse their hatred, applying it only and always to men.

      The “Recall Persky” crowd is populated by hypocrites who are throwing a hissy-fit based on exactly the same gender discrimination that they’re doing here. They had a chance to change direction in this situation, but they didn’t; in their man-hating fury they’re lumping Persky and Caserta together. Why? Because they’re men—and that’s enough for Daubert’s rabble-rousing.

      As always, I’m willing to change my mind. Just post evidence of any wrongdoing by Judge Persky, and base “Recall Persky” on that. Otherwise, the “Recall Persky” crowd is sending the message that Persky and Caserta are birds of a feather.

      Are they? Really?

  2. The 1960’s “Sexual Revolution” chickens are coming home to roost.

    Bill Clinton. John Edwards. Jesse Jackson. Gavin Newsom. Harvey Weinstein. Anthony Weiner. Eliot Spitzer. Al Franken. John Conyers, Jr. Eric Schneiderman, “a 63-year-old progressive Democrat”.

    The list keeps growing.

    • I don’t believe this has anything to do with the 60s sexual revolution – it’s been happening forever. It’s just now that people have the forum and confidence to finally say something about these perpetrators and have a better chance that they will be believed.

      • > I don’t believe this has anything to do with the 60s sexual revolution – it’s been happening forever.

        Really?!

        A lot of progressive gas bags took a lot of credit for all of the “sexual liberation” and “smashing of outdated social norms” that occurred during the “Sexual Revolution”.

        Were they just fibbing and exaggerating their self-importance?

        • Shall we list all the conservative Republicans and religious right who have been caught with their pants down? They are the most hypocritcal bunch!

          • Laurie,

            Go ahead, list ’em. D’s still got R’s beat by a country mile (&IANAR).

      • > UHH you forgot to include Trump in your list.

        I doubt that Trump had anything to do with molesting students at SCUSD.

        A. He’s never worked at SCUSD,
        B. He’s not a Democrat. At least, he’s not a Democrat anymore.

        If he molested anyone while he was a Democrat, I’m sure Democrats would forgive him.

  3. Clearly Caserta should at the very least withdraw from politics immediately. He’s a perverted dinosaur who should be kept away from young people. But maybe we need to talk about a high school administration and school district that would protect a serial predator? How was he allowed sully the profession of teaching and put young women at risk for a decade? I hope this investigation continues.

    • That’s a good point … he has been investigated for that in the past, actually. I was going to include that, but the story was already creeping up on 2,000 words. Might be worth mention in a folo, tho.

      Thanks for weighing in!

      • He is still using the darn index cards!!! At least that is the least creepy explanation I have for how his campaign yard sign and door hanger with a mention of my child’s (his former student who is very unhappy with him and did not want to work on his campaign when asked to by him) name on it ended up on my property. If it wasn’t the index cards – that he destroys (yeah, right) – then he was using school records for non-educational purposes, which can’t be legal.

        • I did all my community service required to graduate by “campaigning” for him. He gave me flyers and told me to go door to door and he signed off on all my community service. Little did he know i immediately threw all his flyers in the trash and went home claiming I handed them all out. I did this because I was lazy and I also knew first hand what a perv he was everyday when I would see him comment on teenage girls skirts.

      • I can vouche that he gave us extra credit for campaigning and that he solicited students for campaign money back in 2007.

    • As you may know, he is a lecturer at DeAnza and Foothill. I had him for a PoliSci class and it was highly recommended that we volunteered for a political party for this class. (This was done over the summer.)

      He gave us options to volunteer for the Democrats or the Republicans — all the Democratic volunteer opportunities provided for us were FOR HIS CAMPAIGN & if we wanted to volunteer for Repub… well, we had to find that information for ourselves. He also didn’t accept volunteer service hours (for participation points to PASS his class) from other ideological parties (e.g., Libertarian, Tea Party, so on).

      He gave students extra credit points if we volunteered over the minimum civic service hours (for his campaign)….

  4. I had Caserta in 2005 and I’m SO happy things are finally coming out about his history of harassment. He was super flirtatious with all the girls in the class and I caught him staring at my chest on a weekly basis. I’m sooooo disappointed in the administration of SCHS and I think the current principal in particular (Greg Shelby, also a former History teacher of mine that I once highly respected) has a lot to answer for. I’m 100% confident that there have been more recent complaints that have not been documented.

    • One young man I know told me at a Senior picnic, Caserta made him feel like he was a prisoner. It is sad that Boots Del Baggio chapter will not be read on Caserta.

      For the Law and Order SVU episode on this, I think Johnny Depp would be good for Caserta.

    • All principals that were serving while Caserta was/is a teacher have a lot to answer for for covering this up and allowing this to happen. I think the only thing worth a damn they could do is apologize and resign immediately from thier current posts. The district of course needs to answer for all of this as well.

      • KEKKY,

        You don’t understand what’s involved here. This isn’t the private sector. It’s not easy to discipline a teacher, and it’s almost impossible to get one fired. And unless the Principal is above reproach, he could be jeopardizing his own job if he makes the slightest misteak.

        Mrs. Smokey was a middle school and high school Principal for 25 years, in S.J. and in Sacramento. The former Principal had tried to get a teacher fired. Then Mrs. S saw the same teacher—on video tape— pushing around students, and shouting obscene expletives at them. There were a lot of students who had been the recipients of his bad behavior, and many others witnessed it. So she figured, I’ll just issue discipline and correct the situation. Easy-peasy, right?

        With the teachers union progressive discipline is required: first a verbal warning, then a written warning, and so on, progressively up to termination. She went through every step carefully, with more than adequate documentation and witnesses. The teacher even admitted it! Progressive discipline is designed to correct bad behavior, but his behavior never changed.

        So being Ms Goody Two-Shoes, she went by the book and fired him. But the School Board reversed it.

        They protected the teacher. Why? Because the .edu system is in cahoots with the union. The administrators go along with the teachers’ unions because they both have a common interest: the taxpayers’ money, and how to get more of it. Their system has been very lucrative for them, and they’re not about to rock the boat over the occasional bad teacher. The problem is that the bad teachers pile up, while the best teachers get fed up, and often leave.

        But Mrs. S didn’t give up. She kept going to Board meetings. She telephoned every Board member privately, some repeatedly. They were supportive on the phone, but in public they closed ranks every time.

        Then the word around the water cooler was that she was a ‘troublemaker’! Since the entire .edu system benefits from the status quo, anyone who causes problems becomes a problem. She was causing problems with the union.

        She finally got so exasperated that she offered to retire, if the Board would uphold the firing (she was retiring anyway). Since the issue was starting to get the attention of the parents, the Board finally agreed.

        But it took FIVE YEARS of constant prodding to get one bad teacher fired—when they had solid evidence on video showing him saying and doing things that were firing offenses (and the whole time this teacher was getting paid more than the Principal).

        Can you guess what happens to the mediocre teachers? Yes, there tend to be more and more of those over time. Once they have their lesson plan done, teaching can be a very easy job for lazy folks.

        Most Principals just give up, and go with the flow. Can you blame them? If they fight the Board they had better be like Mrs. S, without a single blemish on their record or in their personal life because a Principal is an ‘at will’ employee of the District, and they can be replaced at any time; no reason other than ‘for the good of the District’ is necessary.

        Since most Principals don’t want to go around with a target on their backs (especially if they have an ambitious Assistant Principal ready to drop a dime on them), they do what the administration wants—and the District does what the union wants. Everyone is happy. They keep their jobs. The students lose out, but hey, they’ll soon be graduated and competing in the job market with Asians. (Hmmm-mm…)

        The .edu system is corrupt, IMHO. I’ve seen it from the inside, and it isn’t anything like it’s portrayed in the media or by politicians. The system is primarily designed to extract the most money from taxpayers, and they’re very good at that. In fact, it’s their top priority, way above anything else, such as getting and keeping the best teachers.

        Don’t be surprised that California’s students rank #48 or #49 in test scores every year, or that U.S. students rank far below EU students (who rank far below Asian students). Because teaching isn’t the top priority; more money and job security is.

        The taxpayers and the students pay the price, and the trade-off is bad and/or incompetent teachers. There are plenty of those in the system, while some of the best teachers get fed up and leave. The result of the .edu’s skewed priorities shows up in the teaching staff—which then shows up in students’ declining test scores.

        So don’t be too hard on the Principal. He’s caught in the middle, and most folks in a predicament like that tend to rationalize what they’re doing: He told the teacher to knock it off, and he noted it in the teacher’s personnel file. Why should the Principal do more than that, possibly jeopardizing his own job over one teacher?

        And yes, it really is like that in our Brave New .edu World.

        • All you need to know is that the “progressive elites” send their kids to private schools.

          Chelsea Clinton went to private SIdwell Friends School and then to private Stanford University.

          Obama’s kids went to private Sidwell Friends School.

          The MAJORITY of San Francisco public school teachers with kids send THEIR kids to private schools.

          Public schools are just detention centers for the kids of the Democrat permanent underclass that generate cash for the Democrat party permanent bureaucracy.

        • Excellent Comments! The Board also knows that if the Union turns against them, they can be knocked out of office because if teachers choose not to follow, the Board can’t “lead.” This political reality also influences superintendents as well.

          Bolman and Deal wrote a book called Reframing Organizations. One of the key frames is the political frame. Staff uses the school district as a steppingstone to acquire and use power without regard for how the power might affect students, parents, and/or community. Politics will eat structure for lunch and spit it out out because it can. (Anthony Muhammed).

          SCUSD acaemic performance is pretty mediocre as well. You can see a comparison of performance over 3 years in ELA and Math at http://sipbigpicture.com.

        • Good points! I went to SCHS and they don’t even discipline students who sexually harass students. They tell them that their complaint will be handled and never actually do anything. Then they turn around and say that fewer people report sexual harassment. Newsflash: that is not evidence of a safer environment. That just means students are tired of not being heard.

    • I concur; the administration at SCHS (i.e. Greg Shelby, Tony Lam, etc.) and SCUSD need to be held accountable for allowing this to happen and to have continued over the years. (Not to mention, the role of Vice Principal of Discipline is periodically reassigned to other Vice Principals on campus, after allegations of misconduct.) I also know for a fact that there are indeed, complaints about other employees at SCHS and within the district that have not been documented and/or comprehensively investigated. (How many times have such incidences occurred within SCUSD??)

      At the very least, they need to resign and fire Caserta (not put him on “paid administrative leave” as is often the case). More school employees (all!), political staff/colleagues, and students need to SPEAK UP and CALL OUT on others when they see or hear about any and all unethical behavior and misconduct. And there should be no fear or threat of retribution!!!

      • Has any student or parent considered filing a Title IX case in SCUSD? Sexual harassment is SERIOUS.

      • Great Points! The culture of SCUSD is rotten to the core! Full of administrators who value only themselves, their families, and friends. There needs to be an independent investigation of sexual harassment in SCUSD because this is a systems problem and not a special case problem. There also needs to be an independent audit by a credible organization as there are many crooks in SCUSD as well. Drain the cesspool. (I would say swanp but swamps are wetlands that have value for a community!)

      • It would also be a great idea to conduct student culture survey to get a better systems picture of what is going on in SCUSD viz a viz culture and sexual harassment. I have access to valid and reliable instruments that might prove useful.

        I would also recommend conducting focus group meetings with students independently without the involvement of the SCUSD administrative team to determine what is going on from the student perspective in an honest and open way. I have conducted student focus group meetings in Oklahoma City, Kansas City, MO, and various school districts in Washington State. The ideas and insights of the students are always amazing and are truly revelatory of what is actually going on within the school and district revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly!

        These actions might be helpful in uncovering the depth of the problems within SCUSD!

  5. I also know of more than one teacher who complained about his behavior when I was there (2001-2005), none of those complaints seem to be in the file! He called one of my teachers the “C” word!

  6. Dominic Caserta was my civics and econ teacher in 2004 at SCHS. He was always creepy. He made me personally feel uncomfortable in at least 2 separate occasions and was always very flirtatious with the pretty/popular girls and gave them way more opportunities than he ever did with his other students. It’s about time that he gets called out for his actions and actually gets more than just a slap on the wrist or a stern warning. My apologies to any other girls that he creeped out.

  7. So what is the current complaint that prompted the attorney to request Dominic’s file?

  8. Anybody really suprised at this revelation? Quitisential Politician! Self absorbed ego-maniac thinks he can get away with anything!!

    • It will be interesting to see if the 49ers drop their pet councilman or if they treat him like a player and look the other direction

  9. I had him in 2001 and he was a creeper for sure flirting with all the girls and giving them special treatment. Back then was all rumors but I’m glad this came to light. Put that dog down!

  10. He’s got little man syndrome.He thought he was a tough guy even back in high school,starting in 1989.He used to make homophobic taunts directed at me and other guys as well.Hope this little POS gets what’s coming to him

    • You know, this story made me think of a little man who taught some state required health and driver ed class in 1970. He was always talking about being a junior Mr. America or something. I read books in class to escape. One was spherical trig and one was analytic geometry. I checked them out of the library that year and went straight from algebra II into calculus.

      • Analytic Geometry

        I don’t think they teach that anymore, but they should. It really makes things clear and Calculus almost easy to learn. Most of those problems were much harder the difference quotient.

        Now it’s all graphs and pictures, and “Do you know what the numbers mean?”

        They don’t mean anything, they are numbers!.

        Sad!

  11. Dominic Caserta’s lewd behavior toward his female students has been well known (albeit not openly talked of) for a long time. But for some reason, he has never been publicly called on it. I don’t know whether it’s the fault of the school principal, the teachers’ union, the Santa Clara Unified School District board or what. Which of these is finally going to open the books on this predator? And how long are his supporters going to turn a blind eye to his grotesque behavior and bullying ways? My hat is off to Ian Crueldad and Lydia Jungkind for having the courage to blow the whistle on Caserta.

    • Yes, Crueldad and Jungkind should be commended for their courage to speak up and call him out on his misconduct! I have no doubt that all three (school principal and vice principals, teacher’s union, and SCUSD) are negligent and covering up Caserta and other employee’s unethical behaviors.I am glad that at least Caserta is now, finally, being publicly called out.

  12. Great reporting. I will admit that I dismissed the bathrobe story as overblown, but this clearly proves that Caserta is someone who has not learned how to properly and respectfully interact with young women, a scary thought given the positions he has held. Lydia deserves the respect and gratitude of the community for helping the electorate learn more about Caserta.

  13. Heads should roll at SCUSD and SCHS. Not that the will, tho. It’s a notorious old boys network. All those old guys (Syth, Pastorini, Stavis) are retired now and sitting on pretty hefty pensions. They don’t deserve them if they knowingly covered up a child harasser (or worse). And what about current SCHS principal Greg Shelby? He should resign immediately.

  14. I will always stand by Ian Crueldad, and I hope you will too. Can there be a write in on Election Day? Ian cluldade for Santa Clara county superintendent. A man who stands by his beliefs to do what is right. Please support Ian!!!

  15. No investigation by Santa Clara Unified or the Santa Clara City Council? Really? Uhhh…Presentation High School anybody?
    If you are silent and fail to investigate you are complicit.

  16. The school district and SCHS should be held responsible for allowing him near students after hearing these allegations. Let’s not forget this is the same school where a teacher was convicted for having sex with his 17 year old student. The administration, including then vice-principal Shelby, ignored reports of misconduct until the police were involved.The negligence of this district toward student safety is just appalling

      • There was a math teacher at Santa Clara High arrested and convicted for having sex with 1 or more students in his classroom maybe 3 years ago. It was on CNN even.

  17. So…Don Rocha gets to win this race? PLO is in trouble but has a loyal base, Jason Baker seem to have fundraising problems, Susan Ellenberg is the only woman in the race so maybe she should win but she’s basically the developer Schoennauer candidate so her gender doesn’t really make up for the fact that she is a sell out.

    Let’s not oversell Dom’s influence in the local party. He always was able to raise a lot of money. But, back in 2008 (when Metro had Dom on the front cover, btw) Paul Fong was the party’s preferred candidate, not Dom who was seen as basically a Republican (“The slick Santa Clara councilman has the appeal and youthful energy on which the Silicon Valley was built.” http://www.metroactive.com/metro/03.05.08/cover-fong-caserta-0810.html). Dom raised enough money to run TV ads in a state assembly primary and still lost by 8 points. His campaign was managed by Ryan Chamberlin, who later was accused of some rather shocking allegations http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-chamberlain-charges-filed-press-20140603-story.html.

    The person at the core of this story should be commended for, among other things, ensuring that hopefully Dom doesn’t prey on female high school students anymore.

    • …how is Ellenberg the Schoennauer candidate? She’s one of the only candidates without special interest groups heavily funding her (and probably Baker). A quick google search shows that Rocha and Ellenberg received the same amount from Schoennauer, and two other candidates received the same amount! (Rocha also received funding from many other developers…)

      Plus, Rocha and Caserta were backed by many of the same groups, so I wouldn’t be so quick to cast judgement elsewhere.

  18. I am a current student and I can vouch for the authenticity of the behavior described in the article. Caserta is degrading, misogynistic, and disrespectful to his students and fellow teachers. He bullies his student teacher and forces him to agree with his twisted comments in order to pass, and has accused students of being high or using drugs for no reason whatsoever. He makes passes at certain girls, and his intentions are disgustingly obvious. He spent a whole class taking about how women have used their bodies to trap successful men into tough situations, and showed us videos of Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to JFK and then ranting for 10 minutes afterwards about how hot her body was and how much sex they had. Another time he encouraged us to marry rich men if we wanted a future. If anyone wants to investigate, they should start by talking to the students. Most of us are seniors and are graduating soon, and many of us are happy to share the atrocities we endured under Caserta.

  19. He was my poli sci teacher at De Anza and I helped him with his campaign and he tried to get me to go to his house and smoke him out while his wife was out of town

      • Please contact the Santa Clara Police, they are doing an investigation 408-615-4700. They want to hear from former students.

    • do not hide you are a victim in the true sense of the word, come forward add your voice, for whatever reason the police need numbers, it’s not enough that one person speaks out

  20. We continue to see that the behavior of people in large organizations, government, school bureaucracies, abuse the power of those entities. This is true for both sides of the left/right spectrum, across race, and gender. We see it now and throughout history.

    Why do this publication and the rest of the authoritarian left continue to advocate for the further empowerment of the state and as a result, unions and corporations? Take a look around you, this is the utopia of DEM/Progressive politics. It is dominated by government, faceless unions, and corporations; with a dwindling middle class and filled out with an ever-growing number of people with zero dollars and zero power. Every word in this publication furthers the diminution of individual agency, either in what is expected of the individual or what freedom is granted to that individual; serving to condition the public to give up their individual rights to an unruly bureaucratic monstrosity that is the state.

    Nowhere on this site is there someone arguing that we are all much better off if we return to the individual being paramount; armed with negative protections, enabled to look out for themselves and protect their own interests. When you systematically destroy individual agency through conditioning, legislation, taxation, and expectation you serve to make bad actors more powerful when they populate the levers of power in these unruly organizations. Society can see and repudiate an individual bad actor but must tolerate and absorb bad actions when those that perpetrate them are protected by the state and the large entities it creates.

    Freedom is not just being able to do what you want. It is the ability to get what you need with the least interference from the state and the corporatist entities an unrestrained state creates that have we have no ability to opt out from. In a manner of speaking, SJI, Ms. Wadsworth, and all the progressives that have fought for the diminution of individual rights have enabled Mr. Casserta, Mr. Schneiderman, and the rest to extract this abuse on their victims.

    You should be proud.

    • While your claim is well-stated,it rests on the premise that abuse of power of this variety is only perpetrated by people in government. And that’s not the case, we just tend to publicize those stories. Harassment unfortunately exists in every class of society and the majority of workplaces. I completely agree with your definition of freedom. My fear is that there will be powerful entities that undermine our agency regardless of the reach of government. My fear is that if we allow all people to work after their own individual gain, we will uphold and reinforce the inequality that exists today.

      • > My fear is that if we allow all people to work after their own individual gain, we will uphold and reinforce the inequality that exists today.

        Translation: “Only communism can save us.”

        You missed the twentieth century, didn’t you.

      • Anon,

        Yes, bad actors are everywhere. The question is how much power do you want to give them? The larger the organization, the more you insulate these bad actors, the more destruction they can perpetrate. Mr. Caserta guy was protected by the Teacher’s Union and Government. Mr. Schneiderman was protected by Government and the Democratic Party single party apparatus.

        The constant onslaught of do-gooder ordinances from a City Council that believes the community should control capital creates barriers to entry and ongoing cost structure that only large corporations can absorb, forcing out small businesses. Thus, California. Everything this site purports: unions, progressive city councils, licensure sprawl, endless expansion of open space, commercial taxes, fight for $15, regressive taxes, all end up empowering large, faceless power concentrations that in turn protect bad actors in their ranks.

        Small business and the individual poses the least risk to the vulnerable for the simple reason bad actions are much more likely incur massive harm to themselves with little resource or organization to cover up those actions. You treat your customers badly, they go somewhere else. The problem with San Jose’s progressivism is that it punishes small business people and individuals even if they act in good faith all to the aid of large organizations. And in some cases, actually helps bad actors who run small businesses.

        This point has been made so many times in history, it is inconceivable that it is not learned.

        The government will not save you, simply because it is not about saving the individual (which it chastizes the defense of), it’s only goal perpetuating more and larger government.

  21. Waiting for comment from Caserta backer 49ers. Of course, GM Lynch has announced team policy of zero tolerance for sexual harassment. Does that policy extend to politicians they are reported to have bought?
    Btw, great pic of York and Caserta yucking it up in a previous Herhold column. Couldn’t link.

    • No word from the Chamber, the Mahan’s, Mathews, Kolstads either … did they all help with this cover up??

      • Hey … they are all drinking from the same well and using the same MO … Mlinarik — oh please! You gonna trust, go run and hide Matthews, or write the lies Weakly Barber or Live in Washington Kolstad or Pretty Patty the endless victim…. come on people — are you gonna believe any of these people? Better not, they are just as guilty of malfeasance as the Creep!

  22. He was my teacher in the 2015-16 school year. I was constantly uncomfortable in his class, never wanted to talk to him personally, and never stayed longer than I had to. He said disgusting things about women, including his wife, and women’s roles in society, constantly bragged about his money, pressured students to endorse him politically, and asked for index cards with not just our names and info, but our parents. It was a huge misuse of power, and he should not be allowed to teach. He also was voted teacher of the year a lot, a lot of the senior boys really idolized him, which means that he was spreading his unacceptable behavior.

    • As a former student, I know for a fact that SCHS administration purposefully ignores and undermines students that have come forward to report harassment and assault. The sad part is that it takes courage to come forward and these students are turned away feeling like their concerns are invalid. I’m so angry that they knew for a decade and did nothing.

  23. Look at the fact that it has been the people he has taught and hired that have turned on him
    Ellenberg and Rocha far better.

    • Yes! I guess we will have to hold our nose and vote for Ellenberg. As President of the SJUSD Board, Ellenberg has not produced good results in ELA and Math for the students of San Jose Unified especially for Black, EL, Hispanic, Economically Disadvantaged, and Students with Disabilities. Check out poor performance of SJUSD at http;//sipbigpicture.com. No big deal though. We are just talking about getting kids prepared for College and Career. As long as the adults are happy which they are, we will be fine. SJUSD would run like a fine-tuned clock under Ellenberg’s management if it weren’t for those darn kids!

  24. He’s not the only pervert at SCHS. The math department should be investigated. 2007-2010. Female pervert.

  25. Did anyone have these experiences at Foothill college? I heard he’s an instructor there too

  26. Let it be known that this is a pattern at SCHS. Any sexual harassment gets swept under the rug left and right and when things get WORSE. They still do nothing. How are you going to turn your back on all your female students to help just one? Baffling. Truly. There are several teachers with an over inflated ego that are overlooked because they are well liked.
    Not only was Caserta a dick but he was so boldly about it to students and teachers alike.
    I wonder when a certain language and bio tearcher will get theirs. All three have the same awful greasy hair must be universal sign for duchebag.

  27. Why did this guy run for higher office? Didn’t he realize what the #MeToo movement was all about? The spotlight his behaviour would be under? He would be lucky to keep his job. Further, sometime before they hit their forties, guys must realize they can’t “flirt” with an audience that cannot simply get up and walk away. An audience that depends on them for grades and all the future benefits that come with them. And, in the real world, if a guy in his forties expresses interest in a high school girl, the most he can expect is for her to set him up with her mom.

    • Hey, if he’d clicked with that German chick, he could be the used car magnate of Stevens Creek Blvd. Or maybe mattresses. He could go off into the sunset with tens o’ megabucks and a 24-year-old-younger trophy wife.

    • RJ,

      I’ve posted a few comments on that NextDoor thread, like: ‘Guilty! Let’s hang him now, we can have the trial later.’ Just comments along the lines of ‘What if it was you?’ And: ‘Is everyone totally accepting of every statement by every female student? Or, could some of them have dollar signs in their eyes, so ‘a hug’ becomes ‘a hug and then he kissed me on the cheek, and put his hand on my leg.’ Know what I mean?

      I’m concerned when readers are willing to take someone’s account as being 100.0% factual. Maybe it is. But maybe it isn’t, and just because someone doesn’t like the person they shouldn’t be willing to accept everything someone else says. Both sides should be heard. But NextDoor is only letting in one side—and worse, they don’t tell their readers what they’re doing.

      My comments appeared, then they were deleted; censored out, without any explanation. Furthermore, each one of them received at least one “Thanks” from other readers. And some comments got several ‘Thanks’. How do I know that? Because the NextDoor system automatically sends a copy of each ‘Thanks’ to my email inbox, and they can’t delete something from my inbox.

      So if you think NextDoor is providing an honest account… think again. They’re manipulating you.

      I’ve also been asking who the person is on NextDoor that signs as “Web Manager”. The other city PSA notices have the writer’s byline. But “Web Manager” is anonymous, probably because he/she is posting articles with a political spin. That means they’re not the city’s Policy, but instead, they’re intended to get readers thinking the way “Web Manager” wants. I’ve repeatedly asked for “Web Manager’s” identity, and so have other readers. But he’s hiding out and won’t cooperate. But readers must give their identities, which seems unfair at the least.

      The same thing happened when I tried to post comments about the new “road diets”, where without prior notice, cities began removing entire traffic lanes for bicycle use! But NextDoor doesn’t want comments from people who represent drivers, just pro-bicycle comments. Bicycles are less than 1% of road users, but they’re eliminating traffic lanes everywhere with the ‘road diets’. What’s up with that? And why was it a SECRET until it started?

      NextDoor is not what it purports to be. This particular NextDoor blog is very far to the left. Readers are being manipulated by NextDoor. But most of their readers aren’t aware of it.

      Finally, SJI doesn’t heavily censor comments like NextDoor does. Kudos to SJI.

  28. I, too, found Caserta’s behaviour creepy and upsetting when I was a student. At the time, I put it down to him being a bad teacher and a bit of an egotist. He abused his power in plenty of other ways: collecting and storing our personal details, pressuring current and former students into helping with his campaigns, having his teaching assistants (other students) go out and buy him coffee. I never put this together with his derogatory comments about women and his consistently strange treatment of female students. Knowing that students had been complaining for twelve years would have helped me see his behavior for what it was: misogyny and sexual harassment.

    I know there are laws meaning the school district, and the admin, had to keep these allegations quiet, but that’s how predators stay in power. Everyone who senses something wrong just assumes it’s in their own head. I hope that this case will encourage future students at SCHS to trust their instincts, and make them less vulnerable to men like Caserta.

    • You absorbed the curriculum. You learned most importantly how to educate and think for yourself. You grew and acquired additional life experience. You’re a successful product of SCUSD and a credit to the community.

    • The issue is that even when students come forward, the administration works to hide the problem not solve it. SCHS representatives in the district are not doing enough to ensure that students are in a safe environment. One where their concerns are taken seriously. We to light a fire under their asses until they take action. This is not an isolated incident and it won’t be the last one at this school.

        • Teaching at other schools, changing from the math department to principal to some other random position at LAH. Dig deeper. She’s a wolf in sheeps clothing. Aren’t you KC?

          • She is the principal of a high school in San Leandro or Livermore…..

            Jenn wadsworth…..dig deeper on this….there are more people like Caserta that have come through SCHS.

  29. The culture of sleaze and family and friends first permeates all of the SCUSD organization especially at the top! I worked as Coordinator for Assessment for a couple of years and was truly amazed by the culture of backbiting and character assassination that permeated the Board and the District Administration! And I had come from ultimate cesspool of sleaze, Santa Clara County Office of Education, with the likes of scumbags like Joseph DiSalvo! It couldn’t get worse! But the reality was that it was 10 x worse at SCUSD than at SCCOE!

    I can never forget the shenanigans of the SCUSD Board where Chris Stampolis would stalk 16 yr old boys and threaten a school principal with a fake “hand” gun! Where the district was censured by the state (another cesspool) for not allocating $3 Million Title III federal funds to the schools as required by law while at the same time sanctimoniously pursuing a middle school principal for a $25 supposed issue with a student fund that was totally exonerated by the chief financial officer of the District, and letting School Board members participate in the hiring of staff! I was forced out trying to whistle blow on the financial issues as well as advocating for real accountability.

    The wink and nod acceptance of sexual harassment must end. Minimally, the Caserta sexual predator should be immediately removed from the classroom according to Title IX and The Sex Equity in Education Act in the California Education Code. If history (civics anyone?) is a guide, it is unlikely that the milquetoast, weak-kneed, obsequious, family and friends first administration and/or Board will act quickly!

    There should be a full-fledged independent investigation of the SCUSD system as it relates to sexual harassment as it is clear that this is not just a special case problem but a systems problem. While they are at it, there should also be a full and complete financial audit of SCUSD because the system is full of professional crooks. And we must remember that the SCUSD crooks are much better (10x) than the crooks within the SCCOE system and that is saying a lot!

    God help us!

  30. Excellent Comments! The Board also knows that if the Union turns against them, they can be knocked out of office because if teachers choose not to follow, the Board can’t “lead.” This political reality also influences superintendents as well.

    Bolman and Deal wrote a book called Reframing Organizations. One of the key frames is the political frame. Staff uses the school district as a steppingstone to acquire and use power without regard for how the power might affect students, parents, and/or community. Politics will eat structure for lunch and spit it out out because it can. (Anthony Muhammed).

    SCUSD acaemic performance is pretty mediocre as well. You can see a comparison of performance over 3 years in ELA and Math at http://sipbigpicture.com.

  31. One consultant of his led a rally against him. Interesting after he collected 2 grand. He said nothing two years ago, imagine if he had

  32. Mr Caserta gavegis class of 99 students extra credit for campaigning for him!! That’s so unethical. By the time my niece was there she was told he wasn’t allowed to be alone with female students. I don’t know how he was allowed to teach, let alone win ANY election. That man is disgusting!

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