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Phoenix high school teacher accused of messaging students has resigned

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix high school English teacher who allegedly sent unsolicited messages to dozens of students on social media has resigned, but the former student who blew the whistle on him isn’t happy about how district officials handled the case.

The Deer Valley Unified School District Governing Board accepted Aude Odeh’s resignation with a 4-1 vote during a meeting Tuesday night, saying they want to immediately cut ties with him. According to meeting agenda documents, Odeh’s resignation was effective April 2.

Odeh, who’d taught at Barry Goldwater High School for six years and was with the district’s online program this school year, was placed on leave March 24 pending an investigation.

The district, which told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday it has filed a police report, has a policy prohibiting employees from communicating online with students or engaging in “peer-like activity.”

The district took action after a 2017 Goldwater graduate posted a Twitter thread detailing her experiences and those of other female students, along with screenshots of messages.

The former student said she never took a class with Odeh but he started contacting her online when she was 16.

“I would honestly say that I’ve talked to close to 100 different women about their kind of questionable experiences with that teacher,” Colleen, who requested that her last name not be published, told KTAR News on Tuesday.

Colleen said she was glad Odeh would no longer be in a position of power over minors, but she thinks Deer Valley district officials mishandled the situation.

“It’s unfortunate that it took a Twitter thread essentially making him look bad to resign and not the fact that he was completely unprofessional and fired,” she said.

Colleen said she hopes the district changes the way it deals with complaints about teacher behavior.

“I wish that they would do a more thorough investigation into how and why this occurred for so long, and I want them to update their investigation policies,” she said.

“I’m 22 years old and I’m fairly confident, and some of the processes that they put me through these past few weeks were just absolutely terrible and I cannot imagine going through it as a high schooler, because it was just awful.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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