Teachers Say Man Arrested for Child Porn is Former Teacher

Jessica Flores

Teachers Say Man Arrested for Child Porn is Former Teacher

CREATED Dec. 5, 2011

A man arrested last week on child porn charges taught elementary school children  in Palm Springs for years, according to teachers at Vista Del Monte elementary.

Federal agents arrested 67-year-old Ronald Sousa of Cathedral City last week in a Riverside County child porn sting. He is one of nine men arrested. Palm Springs Unified School district confirmed that a man by the same name and age worked in their district and retired at least two years ago.

Teachers, who asked to remain anonymous because the district sent out a memo asking them not to talk about the allegations, say Sousa taught first and fourth grade, he holds a doctorate in education, and students affectionately called him Dr. Suess.

Parents in Palm Springs outraged a former teacher could be the same man arrested for trafficking child porn.

"You don't know who your neighbors are. Now you don't know who your teachers are. It's pathetic," said Joseph Brown who has nieces that attend Vista Del Monte.

Citing privacy reasons, the district wouldn't say how long Sousa worked in the district.

"Don't we have the right to know that? But they say everyone has their privacy." said Palm Springs parent Anna Peterson.

Eddie Gonzalez has a daughter currently in fourth grade at Vista Del Monte.

"We never know about these type of people. It's nasty. It's not good," said Gonzalez.

There's no indication that Sousa did anything improper with students, but some parents in the area think the district should notify the parents of Sousa's former students.

"I would like to know if that was my kids teachers or even one of the teacher in the same school. I would like to know if i didn't find out on the news," said Palm Springs parent Chris Ferris.

At this point, the district hasn't notified any former students' parents.

-Jessica Flores, KMIR6 News.