A substitute teacher in Anderson, California, is facing charges of indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a child after he allegedly mooned the class of sixth graders he was teaching.
Stephen Canciani, 32, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a child in connection with the incident at Anderson Middle School, according to ABC affiliate KRCR-TV in Redding, California.
The incident first came to light after two students told a vice principal that Canciani was exposing his bare buttocks in class.
The Anderson Police Department said that the vice principal reported that he went to the classroom and saw Canciani with his pants and underwear pulled down to his mid-thigh.
The vice principal ordered Canciani to leave the school immediately and then contacted law enforcement, according to the police department.
The APD arranged for Canciani to peacefully surrender at the police station on Tuesday night, KRCR TV reported.
In a note to parents, Anderson Middle School Principal Felicia Ross said the teacher, whom she identified as “Mr. Costello,” exposed “his upper chest/neck area, butt cheeks and butt crack,” and added that “two students reported seeing frontal genital nudity. ”
Ross assured parents in her note that Canciani would no longer be allowed to work in the Cascade Union Elementary School District.
District Superintendent Jason Provence released a statement on Wednesday acknowledging that the students “endured a very intolerable situation during class,” according to Redding.com.
He stressed that the district had “no prior knowledge of any inappropriate behavior” and praised the students who “recognized the inappropriateness” of the exposure.
“We are extremely proud of our students that came forward to report [Canciani],” Provence said. “We applaud these students for their bravery and are deeply sorry for this appalling experience.”
The district will provide counseling for students disturbed by the incident, he added.
Canciani was booked and jailed in Shasta County after his surrender to police, but he had been released as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Investigators said they suspect Canciani has taught at other schools in the county and have asked that anyone with relevant information to call them at (530) 245-6526 and reference case number APD23-006035.