Watsonville teacher suspected of sex with students


Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for 37-year-old Tanya Thienngern, 37, on Tuesday following an investigation that began on May 10 into allegations that the Pajaro Valley High School teacher was involved in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student.

Further investigation indicated that Thienngern may have had sexual contact with more than one student and provided alcohol to students, according to police.

Thienngern, an Aptos resident, surrendered to police at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, accompanied by her attorney. She was arrested on charges of unlawful sexual intercourse, contributing to the delinquency of minors, endangering the health of a minor, and degrading, immoral or vicious practices of drunkenness in the presence of children, police said.

She is being held in Santa Cruz County jail on $25,000 bail.

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District officials placed Thienngern on administrative leave once they were informed of the allegations.

Albert Roman, assistant superintendent of human resources for the school district, said an internal investigation is under way to determine the future of Thienngern's employment.

"The safety of our students is our primary concern first and foremost," Roman said. "We take this matter very seriously. We are examining the possibility of taking personnel action against her."

Roman said a decision will be made by next week.

Thienngern has been teaching at Pajaro Valley High since August 2006.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Police Department's tip line at (831) 728-3544 or the investigations bureau at (831) 768-3352.

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