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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Investigation

 

Which schools received the Flutes program?

The program in question is called Flutes Across the World and was only at Castaic Elementary for 4th grade students in 2015-2016 & 2016-2017.  However, the individual under investigation has provided assemblies at Northlake 2016-17 and Live Oak 2015-16 & 2016-17.

 

2016-17

 

Live Oak (2 assemblies)

Art & Music: The 21st Century

Live Oak -  5th Grade;

Exploring Music: US History

Live Oak - 6th Grade

Exploring Music: Ancient History

Castaic -4th Grade

Flutes Across the World

Northlake Hills - 3rd Grade

Native Americans in North America

Northlake Hills - 5th Grade

Exploring Music – US History

 

2015-2016

 

Castaic Elementary- 4th Grade

Flutes Across the World

Live Oak -3rd Grade

Native Americans of North America

Live Oak -4th Grade

Native Americans of North America

Live Oak - 5th Grade

Exploring Music & US History

Live Oak - 6th Grade

Exploring Music & Ancient Civilizations

Northlake Hills  3rd Grade

Native Americans in North America

Northlake Hills  5th Grade

US History & Music

Northlake Hills  6th  Grade

Ancient Civilizations

 

 

What are the "flutes" that may be contaminated?

 

Specifically, the flutes are handmade from PVC pipe and students were given two to decorate- one for themselves and one to be distributed to another country.  Plastic recorders used for music class are not included in the investigation.

 

 

 Here is a sample photo:

 

 

Who is leading the investigation?

The U.S. Postal Inspection and California Department of Justice are the lead agencies investigating the matter.  Our local Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station is cooperating in collecting the evidence.

What should I do if I have one of the flutes under question?

We have been advised by the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Department- "If you have children that have participated in a program similar to this through the District, please take the flute in a sealed paper bag and drop off at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. Please call us at 
661-255-1121 to make other arrangements."   The address for the station is 23740 Magic Mountain Parkway Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Please understand that the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Department is here to help us but they have limited information.  Deputies will collect the evidence but WILL NOT discuss the case.  It is recommended that you call the Sheriff's Station before driving over.  Depending on the resources available at any given time, they may send a deputy to your home to retrieve the flute.

Were the children ever alone with the individual under investigation?

No, all independent contractors are never allowed to be with students without teacher supervision. We have been advised that the individual under investigation has no prior history that would preclude him from being around children.

 

Are there other school districts that are also included in the investigation?

Yes, we have been told that as many as 23 districts across Southern California have had this specific program at their schools.

Do we know if any students in Castaic received contaminated flutes?

Investigators are unsure.  This is why it is important to collect any flutes made for testing in the lab.

How can we be keep abreast of any new information that may come along?

Check the Castaic Union School District website at castaicusd.com

Optional for parents:

 

The ecrime unit is providing an email for concerned parents to provide their contact information if they desire to be added to a list serve.  At this time the email will accept parents contact information. 

 

Information to be provided will only be that which we as a law enforcement and prosecution agency are allowed to provide under our policy and legal guidelines. 

 

In summary please note:
  1. The purpose of the email is for parents to provide their contact information if and only if they wish to be added to the state email chain;
  2. At this time it is for collection of contact information only;
  3. It is unlikely there will be an auto response for at least 24 hours (but there will ultimately be one);
  4. Parents should list “Recorder” in the subject line
 

CASTAIC UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

28131 Livingston Avenue  •  Valencia, California 91355

Phone: (661) 257-4500 • Fax: (661) 257-5737 • www.castaicusd.com

 

 Susan Christopher • Laura Pearson • Stacy Dobbs • Fred Malcomb • Mayreen Burk

              President                     Clerk                 Member               Member                 Member

 

September 30, 2017

Dear CUSD Families:

We were notified by the California Department of justice of a pending investigation involving an independent contractor who may have provided music education and programs in some of our school sites. As part of this program, students may have received a flute made of PVC plastic piping that they could decorate.  Unfortunately, multiple school districts in Southern California have been affected. 

As we further consulted with law enforcement and were advised that these flutes may have been inappropriately contaminated with the suspect’s bodily fluid.

These allegations are deeply concerning, and I realize they raise many questions. I want to assure you that we are cooperating with law enforcement in this important on-going investigation. In an abundance of caution, we are asking families who may have had children in the District in this type of program, in which the students decorated PVC flutes or participated in other similar programs within the community, to remove those flutes from your child’s possession and place them in a sealed paper bag. The District is working with local law enforcement to determine how they wish to have these collected as evidence. If you have immediate health concerns, please seek guidance from your child’s healthcare provider or your local county health agency.

 

As both an educator and a parent, it is difficult for me to send this message. Even though we do not have all the details, I know honest, forthright communication is the only way that our school community can deal with these concerning allegations. We will update you as we receive further communication from local and state law enforcement.

 

As always, the health and safety of our students remains our top priority.  Please be assured that we will cooperate fully with law enforcement on behalf of the children, families and dedicated staff in our school community.

 

Respectfully,

 

Steve Doyle
Superintendent

 

 

 

CASTAIC UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

28131 Livingston Avenue  •  Valencia, California 91355

Phone: (661) 257-4500 • Fax: (661) 257-5737 • www.castaicusd.com

 

 Susan Christopher • Laura Pearson • Stacy Dobbs • Fred Malcomb • Mayreen Burk

              President                     Clerk                 Member               Member                 Member

 

Dear CUSD Families,

As a follow up to the email you received earlier today, we have been advised by the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Department- "If you have children that have participated in a program similar to this through the District, please take the flute in a sealed paper bag and drop off at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. Please call us at 661-255-1121 to make other arrangements."   The address for the station is 23740 Magic Mountain Parkway Santa Clarita, CA 91355. Please understand that the Santa Clarita Sheriff's Department is here help us but they have limited information.  Deputies will collect the evidence but WILL NOT discuss the case.

We have been given the U.S. Postal Inspector Hot line number for any inquiries or information pertinent to the case.  The number is (626) 405-1200.

Again, I wish to apologize for this difficult situation.  I am very appreciative of your understanding and support through this process.  Please know that this is an on-going investigation and we are limited in what we can share. 

 

Respectfully,

Steve Doyle

Superintendent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The email is ecrimeunit@doj.ca.gov