A California teacher faces six counts of felony sexual misconduct involving a child under 14. Police arrested 34-year-old Jacqueline Ma at Lincoln Acres Elementary School on Tuesday morning (March 6), per a letter sent by the National City School District.
The sixth-grade teacher was one of five recipients of a 2022 ‘Teacher of the Year’ award. Now, she’s being held on a $100,000 bail at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility, per NBC San Diego.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department records indicate Jacqueline faces three counts of lewd and lascivious acts and three counts of oral copulation. All counts are related to the child being under 14, but the exact age of the victim and when the abuse occurred remains unclear.
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However, the school district revealed the child is no longer a student at Lincoln Acres or within the National City School District.
“We can confirm that the student no longer attends our school, and we assure you that we will do everything we can to support the investigation,” Superintendent Leighangela Brady wrote in the district’s statement.
Police arrested Ma at about 8 a.m. on school grounds but away from the students. The arrest was a collaboration between police and school staff. They arranged for it to take place away from the other students. At this time, the child related to the six counts against Ma appears to be the only victim.
The school district aims to hire a substitute to replace Ma, but it’s unclear if they’ve already fired her. Nonetheless, the district revealed its intentions to help the investigation as much as possible. They’re encouraging anyone with additional information to contact NCPD Sgt. Roberto Gonzalez at 619-336-4457.
“We know that our entire school community is as stunned as we were by this news. The district will cooperate with law enforcement and cannot comment any further on the pending investigation. We will continue to do everything possible to keep our students’ safety, needs and education first and foremost,” Brady wrote.
Here’s What We Know About National City School District Teacher Jacqueline Ma
According to Ma’s LinkedIn profile, she’s worked as a classroom teacher in the National City School District since July 2013–nearly ten years. Her most recent entry says she previously taught a class of at least 30 fifth-graders.
But her classroom experience goes back to June 2012. She started as a classroom assistant in the San Diego Unified School District. Ma earned her master’s in education from UC San Diego in 2013.
Jacqueline Ma teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary in National City, CA charged with six felony counts of sexual misconduct with a child under 14.
She worked with 5th graders. She was teacher of the year in 2022.
Her bond is set at $100,000.00 pic.twitter.com/k2lOKQMWRK
— KB (@kbmakeslemonade) March 8, 2023
In August 2022, Jacqueline Ma was selected from a group of 40 nominees in San Diego County for providing “outstanding” education. Ma received the honor in a private ceremony celebrating the 32nd annual event ‘Cox Presents: Salute To Teachers.’
In her application for the award, another teacher at Lincoln Acres, Cynthia Valle-Lone, praised Ma for helping with the adjustment to virtual teaching.
Now, the disgraced educator awaits her March 9 arraignment behind bars.