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Tracy Vanderhulst Arrested For Alleged Sex Crimes With Minor Student

Yucaipa High School ‘Teacher of The Year’ Arrested On Suspicion Of Sex Crimes With 16-Year-Old Male Student

child sexual abuse

YUCAIPA, CALIFORNIA (May 20, 2023) –  A 38-year-old Yucaipa High School teacher identified as Tracy Vanderhulst was arrested on suspicion of unlawful sexual intercourse with minor student.

San Bernardino County officials are saying that the defendant was previously awarded teacher of the year for Yucaipa High School in 2017. Tracy Vanderhulst was arrested and booked at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino on suspicion of violating California Penal Code 261.5(c).

Her bail was set at $30,000. The arrest came after a cooperative investigation with law enforcement and the Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District.

Detectives believe that there may be other victims of Tracy Vanderhulst. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For San Bernardino County Teacher Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involving school teachers is much more common than most people would realize. According to the Innocent Lives Foundation, “In 2004, the U.S. Department of Education released a report that looked at sexual misconduct in the classroom. The report concluded that roughly 10 percent of students experience sexual misconduct by a teacher at some time during their K-12 school experience.” There are a number of steps that schools should take in order to prevent teacher sexual abuse.

  • Schools should thoroughly vet all prospective employees before they start working.
  • Teachers should receive sexual abuse prevention training.
  • Students should be properly monitored during their time at school.

The profile of teachers that sexually abuse students tents to be quite different from what most people would imagine. Abusers tend to be recognized as being excellent at their jobs and dedicated to their students. There have been numerous instances where teachers have been arrested for sexual abuse after being awarded teacher of the year. Many of these teachers are not reported because some people genuinely don’t suspect anything. However, it is also common for those in positions of authority to turn a blind eye towards the abuse.

It is illegal for teachers to have a sexual relationship with their minor students. Pursuant to California Penal Code 261.5(c), “Any person who engages in an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor who is more than three years younger than the perpetrator is guilty of either a misdemeanor or a felony.” Teachers are also mandated reporters and must report any reasonably suspected instances of sexual abuse. Failure to report instances of reasonably suspected instances of sexual abuse is a crime in and of itself.

Depending on the facts of any case, a school could face civil liability if a student is sexually abused in their care. Schools have a legal obligation to properly monitor their students. Consider, for example, Taylor v. Oakland Scavenger Co., 17 Cal. 2d 594 [110 P.2d 1044], “It is the duty of the school authorities to supervise at all times the conduct of the children on the school grounds and to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to their protection.” There are many steps that should be taken after any instance of sexual abuse at a school.

  • A police report of the incident should be created.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • School records regarding the school employee should be examined.
  • An experienced child sexual abuse attorney should be consulted.

Enduring sexual abuse is often one of the most difficult things that children will ever go through. It can impact every part of a child’s well-being and affect their ability to succeed in school. Any person that is sexually abused by a school teacher may have legal recourse through a civil claim. Unfortunately, school districts will often do everything in their power to deny liability if a teacher sexually abused a student. This is why it is so important to seek legal advice as early as possible.

Investigating San Bernardino County Student Sexual Abuse Claims

We at Carrillo Law Firm, LLP extend our best wishes to the student who may have been harmed by Tracy Vanderhulst. Any people that may have more information about what happened should come forward and speak with investigators. It is our sincere hope that Yucaipa High School will consider additional measures to keep students safe.

Have you or someone that you care about been the victims of sexual abuse at Yucaipa High School? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of experienced child sexual abuse attorneys are here for you. We care deeply that abuse victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we may be able to help you. You can reach out to us anytime at 626-799-9375.



Michael works on high-profile cases that have garnered national media attention. His practice today focuses on child sexual abuse cases, police misconduct cases, catastrophic injuries and other wrongful death matters. He is a passionate advocate for his clients including the countless child sexual abuse victims he currently represents.