Morro Bay Police arrested a Morro bay High School teacher on suspicion of having sex with one student and soliciting another girl.
MBPD Cmdr. Amy Watkins said police arrested Tyler Andree, 24, “after a 3-week investigation was conducted into allegations of sexual misconduct by Andree with two MBHS students.”
The case started Jan. 11 when School Resources Ofc. Gene Stuart got an anonymous tip. “The investigation led detectives to identify a possible victim and suspect,” Cmdr. Watkins said. “Detectives located and contacted the believed parties involved which generated a more in-depth investigation into the misconduct by Andree.”
The police and San Luis Coastal Unified School District apparently both were tipped off on the same day. “SLCUSD received information on Monday, Jan. 11,” the District said in a Feb. 8 news release, “informing us of allegations of potential misconduct indicating a teacher/coach had an inappropriate relationship with an unnamed student during his employment. SLCUSD commenced an internal investigation. The Morro Bay Police Department notified the school district that they had received similar information and were starting an investigation.”
Police said their investigation included interviews with the alleged victims and the serving of search warrants. That police legwork identified two alleged victims. They arrested Andree on Feb. 8; but he had already resigned.
“On Monday, Jan. 18,” the District said, “Tyler Andree submitted his resignation effective immediately. Mr. Andree was employed with SLCUSD since Aug. 13, 2019.”
Given that start date, and the fact that all sports have been canceled since March 2020, the swim team, which competes in the spring, hasn’t competed with Andree as coach due to the coronavirus pandemic response and school closures, and the team may not compete in the 2021 season either.
While police have not officially released details of the alleged crimes, The Tribune, on Feb. 11 published a front page article titled, “Student details relationship with accused MBHS teacher.” In the article, the newspaper claims to have exchanged emails with the girl who was allegedly solicited by the teacher. She was not named in the article.
“The teen said she participated in sexually explicit message exchanges with the teacher, after he began expressing romantic interest in her.”
The story said, “They carried on the exchanges for about two months late last year, she said, but their relationship did not become physical.”
Police call such sexually explicit text messages, “sexting.” Sexting is not illegal between consenting adults but as this case indicates, when sexting occurs between an adult and a minor, it’s considered “soliciting of a minor.”
Sexting is also illegal when unwanted by the person on the receiving end, whether the perpetrator is an adult or a minor.
Details about the other victim, who allegedly slept with her teacher, were not discussed by the Tribune’s unnamed source.
The School District said it properly vetted Andree. “San Luis Coastal records reflect that background and reference checks were properly conducted,” the District said. “We have taken steps to ensure student instruction is not disrupted.”
Andree came to MBHS at the start of the 2019-20 school year as a chemistry teacher and girls’ swim team coach. But swimming is a spring sport and in 2020, spring sports were all canceled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic response and schools have been closed in favor of online instruction. While hope springs eternal, whether there will be swimming or any spring sports in 2021 is unknown, as schools remain closed.
The school newspaper, The Spyglass, had a brief commentary published on its website by the editors Adam Rainbolt and Brayden Appell, who wrote, “These events came as a shock to us who, like many students and staff, were familiar with Andree.
“As our campus comes to terms with Andree’s alleged harmful misdeeds, it is important to keep the victims of his behavior at the forefront of our minds.
“Though news of Andree’s alleged actions may seem surreal to many who knew him, we must remember that they have had very real consequences and that those affected must be treated with empathy and compassion.
“Morro Bay High School should be a safe space for all students, and these allegations must be addressed in order to realize that goal.”
Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact SRO Stuart at (805) 772-6225 or Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-STOP.
The District said its priority is protecting students. “Protecting students is paramount,” the District said, “and our teachers are notified each year about appropriate behavior around students. We cannot and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct between a teacher and any student.
“We also work to protect and support the victim(s) and ask that you work with us to respectfully protect student privacy.”
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