Classes didn't start until 10 a.m. at Santa Clara High School. A scheduled teachers meeting allowed faculty to get on the same page after one of their own was arrested on multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor.
"We all agree and think that the safety of our children has to be paramount and so it's important and appropriate that we separate him from the students at this time," said Santa Clara Unified School District Superintendent Stan Rose.
The math teacher was placed on compulsory leave of absence. Santa Clara High School Principal Gregory Shelby said they received a tip at the district level on Monday and immediately contacted police. Cortes wasn't allowed to teach on Tuesday and was arrested later that afternoon.
"It's a tragic event. This is a teacher who has been very popular for several years both with staff and students. This will be very hard on our students and staff," said Shelby.
"Mr. Cortes was arrested, and (my daughter) told me 'mommy, I can't believe it he was a nice guy," said Veronica Jimenez, parent.
The district's crisis management team is on campus today and counselors will be in all of Cortes's classes. Parents were sent an email from the principal and superintendent informing them about the arrest.
"There really hasn't been many problems at this school. My daughter likes it and everything seems to run smoothly. So I feel that she's safe," said Andrea Robichaud, parent.
"As a dad, I have scared thoughts about my daughters going to school. But they have to go to school. It's just shocking. It's sad," said Ula Aiono, parent.
Cortes is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow.