On Thursday, May 12, parents of students at Maya High School were notified that an employee, Darangelo Balark, was arrested after a 14-year-old student accused him of inappropriate behavior.
Balark, who is no longer employed by the school, is accused of texting the student beginning in early May and offering money for explicit photos of themselves, according to Yahoo News.
I am writing to share important information about the arrest of one of our non-instructional staﬀ members, a paraprofessional.
Yesterday, we became aware of alleged inappropriate behavior and text messages directed at one of our students by a non-instructional staﬀ member. We immediately notiﬁed the Phoenix Police Department, which began its investigation.
Based upon their ﬁndings, the non-instructional staﬀ member was arrested and taken into custody.
Due to the nature of the claims against a staﬀ member, they no longer serve as an employee of our school.
Student safety is our highest priority at Maya High School and we are deeply disturbed by this situation. We continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement as they continue their investigation into this matter.
We have counselors on campus today, oﬀering support to any student needing assistance.
As always as a #MayaFamily and community we will continue to strive to be MAYA STRONG; by being ALL IN, accepting ANY CHALLENGE and making NO EXCUSES! Thank you for being a part of our Maya High School family.
Yahoo News reports that the student told police that Balark also touched her inappropriately on numerous occasions.
Balark was charged with one count of sexual abuse and one count of contributing to the delinquency of minors.
There hasn’t been a thorough investigation into this crisis since 2004. But, if anything, this problem has likely expanded with the rise of social media.
Congress should fund a $25 million investigation into sexual abuse in public schools. Parents have a right to know.
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) May 13, 2022