Substitute teacher accused of indecent exposure in class


News Team

A substitute teacher from California has been arrested for allegedly exposing himself to a class of sixth graders. Stephen Canciani, a 32-year-old from Connecticut, was taken into custody after students at Anderson Middle School in Shasta County reported the incident to the police. The Vice-Principal said that two students came to her office and told her that they could see Canciani’s bare buttocks and that his pants were partially down. A photo appears to show the teacher at his desk with part of his backside visible and his right hand tucked into a front pocket. Pupils also reported seeing his genitals, according to KRCR. The Vice-Principal responded to the classroom and found Canciani with his pants and underwear down around his mid-thigh area. She told him he needed to leave the campus, immediately escorted him off, and contacted the police. Investigators took statements from several students that led to a warrant being issued for Canciani’s arrest on charges of indecent exposure and annoying or molesting a child. He surrendered peacefully Wednesday night and was booked into the Shasta County Jail. According to his now-private Facebook page, Canciani graduated in May from the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry — an unaccredited institution in Redding, California, that trains its students on the supernatural and miracles, such as faith healing. Bethel School’s website says that it is “designed to be a ministry training center where our students embrace their royal identity, learn the values of the Kingdom and walk in the authority and power of the King.” Canciani’s online biography on a website for a religious worship organization where he previously worked states that he “has passion for God… and winning souls for Christ.” Cascade Union Elementary School District Superintendent Jason Provence said the district “had no prior knowledge of any inappropriate behavior” before allowing Canciani to work as a substitute. “We care deeply about our student’s well-being and strive for integrity to be the leading attribute not only for our employees but for any campus guests,” he wrote. “We never condone such hideous behavior and we are sincerely sorry to our students that they were subjected to this conduct.” All school employees, including substitute teachers, are required to pass Department of Justice and FBI background checks. The superintendent commended the students who came forward to report the educator’s alleged wrongdoing. “We applaud these students for their bravery and are deeply sorry for this appalling experience,” Provence stated. “We look forward to putting this awful incident behind us and continuing to support and educate our amazing students.”

Education, Human Interest, Local

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