Chula Vista teacher removed from job, accused of soliciting massages from students

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Some parents at a South Bay elementary school told 10News they couldn't believe what their kids said went on inside their third-grade classroom.

"This behavior, to my son, has become so normalized that he did not report it to me," said parent Andy Stumph.

Some parents say Salt Creek Elementary School teacher Stephanie Petitt solicited massages from the students during reading time in exchange for $10 in class money. The parents also say Petitt also encouraged the third graders to give each other massages.

"The most children I've heard at any one time that was massaging the teacher was seven -- one on each leg, one on each arm, one on each shoulder, one playing with the hair," Stumph said.

The parents voiced their concerns at a school board meeting Wednesday night but weren't happy with the outcome, so they contacted 10News.

Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Francisco Escobedo said Chula Vista police were called in to investigate but did not find any criminal wrongdoing.

"This behavior is absolutely not acceptable. We have professional standards at Chula Vista," Escobedo said.

Escobedo said Petitt is no longer teaching at the school, but is still employed with the district.

"She's on administrative leave; these allegations we take very seriously and we have to do due process to investigate," Escobedo said.

Parents say that's not enough, and they worry the teacher's actions could have a lasting impact on their kids.

"If there's a goal to be had ... Mrs. Petit would never be able to teach again," parent Samantha Trickey said.

Three parents pulled their children out of the school, 10News learned.

The district says a long-term substitute will replace the teacher.

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