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State Commission on Teacher Credentialing looks into Chris Berdoll case

Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 03, 2018

Chris Berdoll, who faces more than 40 charges of making and possessing child pornography, is now a former teacher at the Fine Arts Academy in Atascadero.

The Atascadero Unified School District Board processed Berdoll’s resignation Tuesday night. After taking Berdoll off of paid leave, the District sent a full report to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) this morning.

That commission has the power to issue, suspend and revoke all teaching licenses, and the commission is trying to determine if Berdoll should be kept in the classroom.

Once a report is made, a team of investigators will look at records and talk to witnesses. If the allegations are found to be true, the committee of credentials takes over and gives the teacher an opportunity to respond.

The committee can then take no action or come up with a punishment ranging from a red flag on the teacher’s record to revocation of credentials. An educator that is disciplined can appeal.

In a phone interview with Curt Eichperger, the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for Atascadero Unified School District, Eichperger said Berdoll’s resignation could be enough for other schools to question his teaching abilities.

“If someone has left a contract while was still active, another is not finishing a teaching assignment, ultimately those things would have to be disclosed if an individual were to look for work in the state,” said Eichperger.

Convicted or not, if Berdoll is punished by the CTC, it will go on his teaching record, alerting any future educational employers.

According to CTC’s website on Wednesday, Berdoll’s teaching credentials are listed as valid. After one of KSBY’s reporters pointed this out to the commission, a spokesperson said they are unable to comment specifically on Berdoll’s status but are looking into it.

In cases like this, a credential is automatically suspended.

If convicted, Berdoll could have to register as a sex offender, which would affect his ability to get future teaching credentials.

Berdoll is set to appear in court again October 18.