Coach in spotlight after incident in off-campus job

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In August, Edison High School Physical Education teacher Denny Peterson was caught on cell phone video attempting to drag 14-year old student into the school’s swimming pool.

Peterson, described as a 10-year employee of SUSD, is also connected to Delta College.

The 90-second footage, which has now gone viral, is causing outrage on social media. Stockton Unified School District (SUSD) disciplined Peterson after the incident, putting him on paid administrative leave and assigning him to another school.

However, Peterson has recently been charged with corporal injury to a child. Once SUSD officials learned of the charges – from a local media outlet reporting the story – he was again placed on paid administrative leave.

As of last Friday, Nov. 21, Peterson was listed as an assistant coach for the Mustangs’ baseball team.

By Tuesday morning, his bio had been removed from the Delta Athletics website.

“I cannot comment on this matter,” said Athletics Director Daryl Arroyo when asked Tuesday about Peterson’s status as an employee of Delta College.

Arroyo referred questions to Human Resources. A representative for Human Resources also declined comment.

In his now-removed profile, Peterson is described as working at University of the Pacific for three years before beginning his tenure, in 2005, at Delta College. His job, according to the biography, was coaching pitchers. His work also included recruiting.

“He has established himself as one of the top pitching coaches in California Community College Baseball,” according to the now removed biography.

Gilbert Somera, who represents the family of the teenage victim in the case, said he hopes this incident leads to conversations between parents, their children and peers to find solutions to how an event such as this can be avoided.

Somera, a Stockton-based attorney, said as of now, the family hasn’t sought legal recourse in the case.

“There is no lawsuit pending right now,” he said.

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