Accused Clovis teacher Neng Yang pleaded not guilty this morning to 45 counts of child molestation, and the teacher's employment with Clovis Unified has been all but terminated.
Each of the 45 counts of molestation carries a maximum sentence of 15 years to life. Yang pleaded not guilty.
In a statement from the Clovis Unified school board, member Jim Van Volkinburg said the following... "In closed session today, the board of education approved a resolution adopting charges for the dismissal and immediate suspension without pay of a certificated employee."
While Neng Yang was not identified as this "certificated employee" by the board in its statement to the media, members said the actions they took today were based on information they received in a criminal complaint.
The 43 year old Yang is facing accusations of inappropriate behavior with a child in the classroom at Freedom Elementary School.
The board's statement continues with "it is never easy to be the bearer of bad news, but people always appreciate hearing the truth. Only with the truth can we begin to heal."
Yang appeared in superior court where bail was set at $4.5 million dollars. Each of the 45 counts he faces calls for a maximum sentence of 15 years to life.
He'll be back in Superior Court February 8th.
As far as the actions the board took, those will now be reported to the State, and will result in the automatic suspension of this teacher's credential.
District spokesperson Kelly Avants says the focus remains on its students. "We all are still somewhat in shock, but really seeing the community pulling together and supporting each other. We've seen people take advantage of the counseling available."
School psychologists are still on hand for students, parents, and staff trying to cope with what's happened.
Yang's wife, who is the principal at Miramonte Elementary, has taken a leave of absence.
Yang is officially on unpaid administrative leave. The teacher has 30 days to demand a hearing. If those 30 days expire, the board can take the final action to make the dismissal.
Yang is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow in Federal Court where he's charged with producing child pornography.