Student Opinion On Teacher/Student Relationships 


America Castrejon (9th), Editor

Many children and teens struggle with school and forming friendships. Therefore, lonely teens become motivated to befriend teachers instead. Some teachers are stern, however, others are more lenient with their students which could lead to more open student and teacher relationships. These relationships could escalate very quickly to something more intimate.


An incident had occurred at Turlock High School, in 2016, when a former band teacher, Daniel Baudino who was 38 at the time, was arrested. He had been arrested for the third time due to multiple charges of sexual assault; Baudino was charged with over 40 sex charges, most of them being minors. He was first arrested on November 1st because of a call that had been made to the Turlock Police Department by the victim. This occured between June and August. The victim was not identified, but she was 15 at the time. Baudino was charged with 9 felony sex crimes in his first arrest when he was working at Turlock High School.


After the arrest, his mugshot was released to the public which prompted more victims to report him to the police. This led to Baudino’s second arrest on November 18th. Although both victims were former students at Turlock High, the incidents occured in 2015 and 2019, meaning the students were adults. Yet, he was charged with an additional 10 sex felony charges because of the former students’ claims. In the latest news on this, he was charged with 11 counts of using a minor to make pornography, five counts of recording sexual activity without consent, four counts of contacting a minor regarding sex, and one count of possession of child pornography. He also had more sex crimes against a minor in 2021. Since he has many charges, up to 40 and 35 being felonies, who’s to say more of these accounts won’t be reported from students who were too afraid to say anything? 


In 2008, a former Pitman High School student was groomed by one of her teachers. Former math teacher and football coach, Carl Kubicek, had raped a minor which was reported to have happened in his classroom and the victim’s home. Kubicek was recently found with the now, over 18 year old girl, in a car that was reported suspicious in Modesto. He was charged with two felonies and was to serve seven months in jail and a three year probation. Kubicek was ordered to stay away from the victim during this time period and he was sent to jail with a $20,000 bail. The victim stated in court that she did not want Kubicek to go to jail. He was arrested February 8th because the mother of the high schooler had become suspicious of a relationship between a teacher and her daughter.


As investigators looked into the teenager’s case they had found out that she was involved in another sexual relationship with a former police officer and veteran Jorge Cruz. He had been arrested the same day. Cruz was charged with one count of each sodomy with a minor, oral copulation with a minor, sexual intercourse with a minor, and preventing a witness or victim to testify at the trial. All of these were felonies and he faced one misdemeanor charge of sexual battery. Cruz’s misdemeanor was unlawful touching of a 16-year old girl. This is not determined if she was a high schooler at Pitman or Turlock High. The two men did not know each other, and both cases were being handled and examined separately. 

I first asked a former Pitman High School teacher – who now works at Turlock High – Melanie Lee, some questions regarding Carl, and how she felt about the situation at the time.

What were your thoughts about this, when you first heard about what your coworker did?

Lee said, “My thoughts were of disgust! I was ashamed to be in the same department with him. Students think the notoriety is cool and they aspire to be that kid with another teacher. So teachers start to question if they’re being too friendly; we run to keep the door open if a student lingers behind. I had a student misbehave in my class and I told them I was going to call their parents and their response was, ‘I’ll just tell them you pulled a Kubicek.’ I hate when teachers make my job harder because they have chosen the wrong profession.”

It truly disgusts me that one of her students knew exactly how awful and horrible this incident was and still decided to say something like that.


I asked a teacher here at Pitman High School who answered my questions anonymously about the Carl Kubicek incident:

What were your thoughts about this, when you first heard about what your coworker did?

The teacher said, “At first, we didn’t know who the staff member was. We were notified of the staff meeting at 7am the following day. Obviously word got around even though text messages, and ‘googling information’ was just getting started. It wasn’t something we automatically jumped to, but it was a horrible feeling to think one of our coworkers did that. At the staff meeting, we were informed of the basics of the accusations and the case. It was basically a scene of anger and shock. For myself, I was sickened and sad. I do not understand actions of that nature, nor the mental illness and sheer disgustingness behind it.”

Did he ever seem weird or off around you? 

The teacher said, “To be honest, I never spoke with him. We taught different subject areas and I had no need to interact with him. To that end, I still recommend that we follow the ‘See Something, Say Something’ policy. If an adult, even one in a position of authority makes you or friends/classmates uncomfortable, report it. Let the proper authorities investigate. If the adult has nothing to hide, then it’s fine.”

Now I’m not saying students and teachers shouldn’t have a friendly relationship, but maybe parents and other students should monitor what is being said to their friends or sons and daughters. 

In conclusion, parents should monitor their child’s behaviors and how they are at home compared to school. If I had known something like this was happening to my friend, or someone I didn’t even know, I would alert a trusted adult and let them handle it with police, and the proper authorities. Two cases like this have occurred at Pitman High and one at Turlock High throughout the years. Most of them were under our noses for a very long time. Students should know this is not normal behavior and it should not be ignored. Yet teachers should also know boundaries and don’t cross the line with these minors. Students need to know not to be too friendly with their teachers and staff, and to watch teacher behavior. This could help students and parents to know if a teacher is behaving suspiciously.