Investigation continues in Red Bluff student/teacher relationship

Feb 4, 2014 7:24 PM

A popular teacher is out of jail on bail tonight, following his arrest on campus at Red Bluff High School.

School officials called police to report an "inappropriate relationship" between the teacher and a 17-year-old student.

Kenneth Binder has been a Career Technical Education teacher of auto shop for two and a half years at Red Bluff High. We don't know much about his past, but we do know what went down yesterday and know some students who were shocked to hear the news.

Today is Athena King's birthday. Her mom made her cupcakes.

One of which, she wanted to give 42-year-old Red Bluff High auto teacher Kenneth Binder.

“[A teacher] said well, there's a substitute today,” King said.

Binder wasn’t there, because he was locked up for sending harmful matter to a minor, via text messages.

It all started around 1pm on Monday.

“A young lady went into the office at the high school and spoke with one of the associate principals because she had a concern for her friend,” Interim Superintendent Joe Harrop said.

Specifically, it was a concern that her friend was having an inappropriate relationship with Binder.

School officials immediately called Child Protective Services, who in turn referred them to Red Bluff's own school resource officer.

“I’m very, very happy that the principal and the vice principal took immediate action, and put it into the hands of authorities to take care of,” Harrop said.

“This thing was reported to us at around one o clock, and by late afternoon we had a person in custody,” Red Bluff Police Sergeant Kevin Busekist said. “We took it very seriously and got on it immediately.”

But who is Binder?

“We don’t know anything about the teacher's past at this point. The investigation is ongoing, and detectives are working on it as we speak,” Busekist said.

“I think everyone was very, very shocked and surprised,” Harrop said.

“Just with how easy going he is, there's not a single person on campus that doesn't know him in a certain way or he hasn’t impacted in one way or another,” Red Bluff Senior Anthony White said.

Students said he played Santa in a school choir show, took pictures at football games, and was close with students.

But the question on everyone's minds is how close he was with this student.

Harrop said he's on administrative leave, and won't be around children.

Superintendent Harrop said he sent out an all-staff e-mail this morning notifying other teachers, who he instructed not to get tangled up in student rumors.


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