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Former Benicia teacher charged with lewd acts with a student

A former Benicia Unified School District teacher is due in court Monday on felony charges of lewd acts with a child.

Matthew Shelton is charged with five felony counts of lewd acts with a child sometime in 2022 when he was a teacher at Robert Semple Elementary School. The district said he was not a teacher this school year.

In addition to the five felony counts Shelton faces, he was arrested in 2008 for allegedly touching two of his students inappropriately. He was acquitted by a jury.

In a video statement, Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Damon Wright said, in part, “We believe having an independent review of our systems will reinforce the comprehensiveness of our practices and it may offer additional recommendations for consideration. We will not shy away from embracing actions that will strengthen our commitment to excellence across our operations in service to students.”

Wright said the independent review will go over hiring and supervision of teachers and staff, the district’s process of how and how fast it handles complaints of impropriety, and the district will work with students and parents to make sure they are empowered to advocate for themselves should anything improper ever happen.

Wright expects the results of the independent review by the end of next week, and it will be presented at the April board meeting.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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