Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 1:02 am | Fair 61º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Carpinteria Boys and Girls Club After-School Program Director Resigns

The afterschool program director for the Carpinteria Boys and Girls Club resigned this week in the wake of allegations that he hit children’s hands with a pool cue.

David Bleecker handed out a letter to parents along with a Health and Human Services agency licensing report that addressed the incident. 

“In August, a few students reported that I hit them on their hands with a pool cue while we were playing a game of pool,” Bleecker wrote. “What happened was I used the pool cue to lightly tap the table’s cushion if the student’s hands were over the cushion.

"I did this slowly and lightly while we all played. I have never hit children, I have never condoned hitting children, and I do not condone the use of corporal punishment.”

Licensing Evaluator Patricia Gutierrez made an unannounced visit Sept. 4 — a month after the Aug. 5 incident was reported – and reported that Bleecker had hit children’s hands with pool sticks if they didn’t remove their hands when told.

He had also instructed other staff members to do the same if children failed to follow instructions, according to the report.

Gutierrez found that the licensed afterschool program failed to comply with regulations by violating children’s personal rights and not providing adequate care and supervision, which the club must address or risk a civil penalty.

The United Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara County is appealing aspects of the report, Carpinteria unit director Jamie Collins said.

There’s already a transition plan in place as well, with afterschool program teacher Dolly Chang taking over as the new director, she said.

“We’re really excited about her and her ideas, and she’s with the program so the kids already know her.”

Even with the appeal of the report, the “stress of this inaccurate accusation has taken its toll on me both emotionally and physically, and for that reason I have decided to resign,” Bleecker wrote.

The case was reportedly investigated by law enforcement, but the District Attorney’s Office has not filed any charges.

“As of today, the Boys and Girls Club has not alerted parents officially that this incident even happened, even though it happened over a month ago,” a concerned parent wrote to Noozhawk. “The state concluded it happened yet (Bleecker) continued to work and parents remained unaware.”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >