Parents react to teacher facing sexual abuse charges

Grants Pass, Ore. — Parents at Manzanita Elementary School in Grants Pass are in disbelief after hearing a 5th grade teacher, Van Len Granger, is facing charges of sexual abuse and sodomy of a 12-year-old boy.

“I think everybody was mostly shocked like not Mr. Granger. That’s where everyone kind of stood,” Bernadette Carrasco said.

Carrasco has a son in 6th grade. He was in Granger’s class last year. She said he was well like by both parents and students and he quickly became her son’s favorite teacher.

“I was actually really thankful for him because he was one of the teachers that made a lot of progress with my son,” Carrasco said.

Oregon State Police arrested the 47-year-old just before Christmas after receiving a report from the department of human services about possible sex abuse. He’s also facing pending charges out of Douglas County. OSP said Granger worked as a mentor to the child he allegedly abused through the Options Wrap Around Program. Options representatives tell NBC5 News that Granger was not an employee, volunteer, or mentor for their program.

Carrasco said she found out about the allegations from a post on “Manzanita Families” Facebook page.

“The first one had his mugshot and list of charges and said ‘this is a teacher here,'” Carrasco said. “The next one said ‘my post got deleted, but this is a teacher here.'”

Several people have come to Granger’s defense on the social media page. Parents wrote they’re “trusting and praying.”

Carrasco said she needs hard evidence before she’ll break the news to her son.

“I’m not looking forward to it. Not looking forward to it at all. Like I said my son really loved Mr. Granger a lot,” she said.

Granger will be in Jackson County Court for a preliminary hearing on January 25, 2016.



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