Booking photo of Hemet High teacher and former Idyllwild resident Janel Ramirez
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported that Hemet High School teacher Janel Ramirez, 31, was arrested on Thursday, March 1 on suspicion of having had sex with a student.

According to the report, the alleged offenses took place on campus during the month of December.

Ramirez is a ninth grade English teacher, employed with the district since 2007, who also worked to acclimate incoming ninth graders to high school life, according to Deputy Superintendent Dr. LaFaye Platter. “Because this is an ongoing investigation I can’t comment on the employee’s current status,” said Platter, “but we have taken all appropriate steps since we found out about this two nights ago. We are a close knit community and are, of course, deeply concerned for the welfare of all our students.”

Platter reported that upon learning of the alleged incidents, the district notified the Sheriff’s Department and County Child Protective Services. “We also issued a message to all parents of Hemet High students notifying them of the incident and asking them to report any inappropriate acts involving students. We have asked all our employees and counselors to report any incidents or suspicion of child abuse."

Platter could not confirm whether Ramirez had been placed on administrative leave, only that she was not in school Thursday.

Ramirez grew up in Idyllwild and attended Idyllwild School before attending Hemet High. Her maiden name is Guerrero. Bill Sanborn, HUSD Trustee for the Idyllwild area, remembers Guerrero as nice kid, good student from a nice family and a very good teacher. “I’m very sorry to hear of this,” he said. “It’s a difficult time for the district and the school. I have the upmost respect for the staff of the high school. They are very conscientious, close knit and concerned about their effect on the children and families of the school. And, I can’t say enough about Emily [Dr. Emily Shaw, Hemet High School principal] and the way she is handling this on behalf of the school community. She places Hemet High School at the top of all her priorities.”

Ramirez was charged with four felonies including having unlawful sex with a minor. She was initially incarcerated at Southwest Detention Center and released on $100,000 bail. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Investigator Paz of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Hemet Station at (951) 791-3400.