El Cerrito High English teacher arrested on child porn charges

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An English teacher at El Cerrito High was arrested this week on child pornography charges.

Christopher Silva, 41, of Richmond, was arrested on suspicion of soliciting and being in possession of child pornography, El Cerrito police said.

He was arrested at his residence Wednesday and booked into the Martinez Detention Facility. Formal charges from the District Attorney’s Office are pending further investigation.

“The West Contra Costa Unified School District is aware of the investigation and is cooperating with detectives,” police said.

In a letter to the school community, WCCUSD Superintendent Matt Duffy and El Cerrito High Principal Patricia Crespo said Silva was placed on administrative leave. From the information district officials have, “there are no current students involved in this investigation.”

Here’s the letter:

“Dear Gaucho community,
We are writing to inform you of an investigation involving El Cerrito High School teacher Christopher Silva. On Wednesday, March 13, Mr. Silva was placed on administrative leave and arrested by El Cerrito Police detectives at his home for solicitation, and possession, of child pornography. From the information we have, there are no current students involved in this investigation. ECPD is asking anyone with information to contact the Investigations Division at (510) 215-4418 or investigations@ ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.
Due to the confidential nature of the investigation, there are no additional details that we can share at this time. As more information becomes available and cleared for release, we will share it with you. While this is disturbing news, we are asking that you refrain from spreading rumors and speculating about this situation. School and District staff members are cooperating with El Cerrito Police detectives on this matter and remain committed to ensure that all students are safe while they are under our care and supervision.
The safety and well-being of our students is always our highest priority. We are obviously shocked and dismayed by these allegations and will be working to support all ECHS students in coping with this disturbing news.
Counseling is available on campus for any students or staff to deal with the impact of learning this information.
A teacher who taught the same courses at ECHS last year will take over the affected classes for the remainder of the school year.
The District has a policy in place for reporting any suspected abuse or harassment of students, which can be found at our Office of Educational Equity website. In addition to the school district’s policies addressing abuse and harassment, all employees must undergo a comprehensive background check with the FBI and state Department of Justice before they are hired.
In addition, we will report this matter to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as required by law.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this difficult situation. In solidarity,
Matt Duffy and Patricia Crespo/Superintendent and ECHS Principal