Police arrested a Mountain View High School math teacher this morning (Nov. 7) after investigating allegations that he had sent inappropriate text messages to a student. The Mountain View Los Altos High School District (MVLA) confirmed that the teacher, Evan Smith, has been at the school for 15 years and will be on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
School officials notified the Mountain View Police Department Monday afternoon of alleged communications between a student and Smith, and Smith was arrested within 24 hours on one count of sending harmful matter to a minor. Mountain View police said they are concerned that there may be additional victims in this case but cited no further details.
“A student received texts that were disconcerting to her. She showed them to her counselor.” MVLA Communications Manager Cynthia Graves told the Town Crier of the alleged text messages, which began over the summer. “We want students to have one or several trusted adults on campus.”
“Long story short, we received information from school officials yesterday afternoon,” said MVPD Public Information Officer Katie Nelson. “Officers collected information, built their case, and arrested Smith this morning.”
In a joint statement, the Mountain View Police Department commended the district for their quick response once they had been informed of the situation. School officials also applauded the student for coming forward and urged any other students who may find themselves in a similar situation to speak with a teacher, counselor, or other school staff.
If you have information on anyone who may have been a victim, or if you believe you have been a victim, contact Det. Frank Rivas at 903-6388 or Sgt. Dan Vicencio at 903-6386.
The case was turned over to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office Nov. 8. Smith was released on $25,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge Jan. 8.
Below is the text of an email sent today by Mountain View-Los Altos High School District Superintendent Jeff Harding to MVLA families.
Dear MVLA Families:
It is my sad duty to inform you that Mountain View High School math teacher Evan Smith was arrested Tuesday morning after we learned that he had been sending inappropriate text messages to a student. We notified Mountain View Police of the communications between the student and this teacher on Monday afternoon, and they immediately began their investigation. We are not currently aware of any physical contact between this teacher and students.
Mr. Smith will be on administrative leave during the investigation and will not be permitted on campus.
This incident is very upsetting but know that it is an anomaly in our district’s long history. We expect the highest standards of conduct by our teachers and staff, and we have well-established district policies which strictly prohibit harassment of all sorts, and detail the consequences for violating these policies.
School officials contacted Mountain View Police as soon as they became aware of what was going on. We applaud the student for coming forward so action could be taken. Student safety is a top priority in our school district, and we will cooperate with the Mountain View Police Department in the investigation of this case.
Mountain View Police are concerned that there may be additional victims in this case. If you have information on anyone who may have been a victim, or if you believe you have been a victim, please reach out to me or school administration immediately.
Dr. Jeff Harding