CLAYTON -- In response to the arrest Friday of a Diablo View Middle School teacher on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with an underage former student, Mt. Diablo district officials discussed the arrest with students Monday and planned a parent meeting that evening.
Math and science teacher Andrew Bruce Cottrell, 41, was still in County Jail in Martinez, where he was booked on suspicion of 17 offenses covering sexual intercourse, lewd acts and oral copulation -- all involving a minor under 16. He was being held on $975,000 bail.
Prosecutors said they would evaluate the case and consider filing charges this week.
Diablo View Principal Patti Bannister sent an audio message to parents Sunday evening, detailing how the school planned to address the situation. Bannister said Diablo View staff would continue instruction in Cottrell's classes and invited parents to attend a 6 p.m. Monday meeting to discuss the situation.
Superintendent Steven Lawrence said the district's crisis team was available Monday for students and staff to speak with, administrators spoke to all first period classes to let the students know support was available and that Bannister spoke to all of Cottrell's students.
Megan Kommer, president of the school's parent faculty club, said she was satisfied with the school's response, but was worried about how comments made by parents might affect students.
"I've seen a ton of really negative stuff on Facebook," Kommer said Monday. "Frankly, that's going to do more damage. As parents, we need to be responsible. I really trust that the administration at the school is going to make the best decisions as far as how to handle this."
She said it was her understanding the district had cleaned out Cottrell's classroom and made it look different.
"So it will be like, 'Yes, we had this horrible thing happen and we will move forward,'" Kommer said. "It's obviously a very upsetting issue for all of us, but I don't think it helps to have animosity. For me, I feel (the district's response) is appropriate, but I may feel differently if I had a student in his class."
Staff writer Malaika Fraley contributed to this report.