The Deer Valley Unified School District governing board will take action on the resignation of a teacher under investigation for alleged inappropriate communications with students on social media.
Aude Odeh, a certified employee listed as an online English teacher on the board’s published agenda for its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, April 13, has submitted a resignation to the district. The board will take action approving his resignation at the meeting.
Allegations of inappropriate messages Mr. Odeh sent to students surfaced in late March when a former DVUSD student, named Colleen, who graduated from Barry Goldwater High School, shared details on Twitter of what she described as her teacher’s behavior.
“I chalked it up to him being a nice adult or that if his behavior was out of line, that I was somehow in the wrong,” she stated according to her Twitter thread on March 23. “As I got older and went to therapy I realized that his messages and actions were completely inappropriate and began talking to others about their experiences.”
The Phoenix Police Department confirmed Monday via email to the Glendale Independent that a police report was made by Deer Valley Unified School District involving allegations of harassment, and that it is “an open and ongoing investigation.” Phoenix Police do not confirm names of a person under investigation unless they are charged with a crime, and no arrests have been made in this case.
DVUSD confirmed Monday to the Glendale Independent that Mr. Odeh, whose name is listed on the governing board’s agenda as the staff member resigning, is the same employee placed on leave pending an investigation over alleged contact with students.
The first message in Colleen’s thread has received almost 25,000 “likes” to date. Published media reports said 30 other students contacted her with similar allegations.
The district followed up with its own tweet on March 24.
“DVUSD prohibits employees from engaging in peer-like activity or communications with students including through social media, internet sites or electronic communications of any type,” the DVUSD account published. “If you witness this behavior, please report it immediately to your principal for investigation.”
The next day, the district posted another statement to its Twitter account.
“DVUSD Community: You may have read Twitter posts recently alleging that a DVUSD Teacher acted inappropriately on social media. Please know DVUSD takes these allegations seriously. Human Resources is investigating. If you have further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The governing board’s agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting includes an action item regarding the resignation of Mr. Odeh, whose name has surfaced on social media posts relating to the alleged inappropriate behavior. The resignation was effective April 2, according to the meeting agenda.
Attempts to reach Mr. Odeh for comment via email were unsuccessful. Messages were left at a phone number in his name.
On Monday, April 12, Colleen tweeted, “This teacher I posted about in this thread has resigned. I wrote about what it’s been like to deal with this the last few years...peace out for a while twitter, I need a mental health break after being forced to deal with all of this crazy.”
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the April 13 governing board meeting will take place virtually and all members will be attending remotely. The meeting will be live streamed at livestream.com/dvusd.
The board will also go into an executive session prior to the meeting, starting at 5:45 p.m.