NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – The National School District board held its monthly meeting Wednesday evening where parents hoped the issue of a sixth-grade teacher’s arrest would be addressed.
“My son didn’t even want to go to school today from everything that’s going on, but they should’ve at least acknowledged, you know, this is what we’re doing to help your children,” said Patricia Ruelas Martinez, a Lincoln Acres Elementary parent.
Martinez has a fifth grade son at the school where sixth-grade teacher Jacqueline Ma was arrested Tuesday morning, suspected of having an inappropriate relationship with a former student.
“Because he knew her as this great teacher, and now this is coming out, he’s confused as any child would be,” Martinez said.
Martinez took a moment to address the National School District board after hours of waiting during a routine board meeting.
“We’re not going to discuss the elephant in the room? I came because I figured we would find something out,” Martinez said.
The board said it was sticking to the agenda, but moments later the superintendent was addressing the issue, calling it an “unthinkable situation.”
Ma was named a San Diego County Teacher of The Year in 2022 and is now facing numerous felony counts, including lewd acts on a child.
“That’s kind of the sad part, automatically people are just going to accuse the teacher, but of course we have to listen to the child too,” said Marissa Lemus, a district parent.
National City police say the alleged victim is a 13-year-old. The child no longer attends a school in the National School District and the district is unaware of any other potential victims.
“We are committed to cooperating with our law enforcement. We do remain cognizant that we cannot comment on the pending investigation, so will continue to work to make sure that our schools run smoothly,” Superintendent Leighangela Brady said.
Ma has posted bail and is expected to have her first appearance in court March 14.