Carlos Morales accused of assaulting juvenile
A former Brookline school teacher was charged Wednesday with aggravated statutory rape after authorities say he assaulted a juvenile.
Carlos Morales, 29, of Brookline, was ordered held without bail at his arraignment at Brookline District Court.
The news left parents across town concerned, as Morales had taught at three different schools during a teaching tenure that appears to have ended about a year ago.
“I’m in shock,” said Hetal Patel, whose son interacted with Morales while he worked at the Driscoll Extended Day Program. “I didn’t know how to react, because my son had been here in this school for two years. I have seen him almost every day for two years here.”
Patel told NewsCenter 5 that Morales, who also taught at the Pierce and Devotion schools in Brookline, was very well-liked by students and parents.
“He would say hello, smile, he would joke,” she said. “Many parents say that was one of their favorite teachers.”
Brookline Public Schools issued a statement Wednesday stressing that Morales is a former teacher, and that the alleged crime took place off of school property.
“[Brookline schools] is currently identifying students who may have had contact with Mr. Morales and is in the process of contacting the families of those students directly,” the statement read.
“What do you need to do now?” Patel asked. “What does the school, or what does the Brookline education system do to make sure that things like this don’t happen?”
Other parents, like Lee Wetzler, said they’ll have another conversation with their children, and suggested the school needs to pay especially close attention to online interactions between students and teachers.
“We’ve always been very open” about such issues with our children, Wetzler told NewsCenter 5. “They understand. And they’re very good at this school about teaching about these type of things — online safety and all these other things that go on.”
Morales is due back in court Dec. 18 for a dangerousness hearing.