Middle school teacher arrested for allegedly teaching while drunk, California police say

News & Politics

A middle school STEM teacher in southern California was arrested after staff called police and reported that he appeared to be under the influence of alcohol while teaching.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from Robert O. Townsend Junior High School in Chino Hills at about 11:20 a.m. on Thursday.

Deputies reportedly determined that 49-year-old Clifford Harper was intoxicated, and they escorted him off of school grounds. He was booked into the West Valley Detention Center. Harper faces possible charges of public intoxication and child endangerment.

A letter sent to parents indicated that Harper was placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.

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News video from outside the school shows a large banner proudly declaring that it is a “California Distinguished School.”

Harper is from Rancho Cucamonga and teaches STEM and an introduction to technology class. Part of his instruction involves the use of woodshop machines and other pieces of equipment.

One of Harper’s former students told KTLA-TV that she was shocked about the accusations.

“That’s so crazy, I did not expect that at all,” said Hanna Vanpelt. “Even my sister right now has him for third period. It’s just scary. Why is he doing that?”

Other students and parents told KTTV-TV that they were surprised because Harper was such an “amazing” teacher and very passionate about teaching.

Harper was later released from custody. Records from the Transparent California website indicated that he has taught in the Chino Valley Unified School District for at least the last ten years.

Chino Hills is a suburb about 36 miles to the east of Los Angeles.

Here’s a local news report about the arrest:

Middle school teacher arrested, accused of teaching class while intoxicated: policewww.youtube.com

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