EXCLUSIVE: Woodside Elementary Teacher Joe Martin Arrested for Sex Crimes Against Several Children

July 1, 2013 7:00 am · 200 comments



A long-time teacher at Woodside Elementary School in Concord was arrested on Thursday night at his home in Martinez for sex crimes against children, Claycord.com has learned.

Concord Police tell Claycord.com that on April 25, 2013, Concord Police Officers responded to Woodside Elementary School on San Simeon Drive regarding a report from school administration that a teacher, identified as Joe Martin, inappropriately touched a student. Officers then initiated a preliminary investigation into the allegations.

SVU Detectives conducted an extensive investigation over the course of the next eight weeks. The investigation involved multiple witness interviews and the identification and interviews of 12 juvenile victims who were current or former students of Martin. The juvenile victims’ ages ranged from 11 to 17 years old.

Based upon the results of the investigation, Detectives established probable cause to arrest Martin for multiple counts of committing a lewd act on a child, Penal Code section 288. Most of these acts are believed to have occurred at the school. On June 26, 2013, Detectives sought and obtained an arrest warrant from a local magistrate, as well search warrants for Martin’s residence and the classroom where he taught at the school.

On Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 5:00 PM, SVU Detectives arrested Martin at his home on Starflower Drive in the city of Martinez. Detectives subsequently served the search warrants at his residence and at the school.

On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, SVU Detectives will present the investigation to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, who will review the investigation and determine if criminal charges will be filed against Martin.

The Concord Police say investigations of this nature involving adults who are the custodians of innocent children are particularly complex and troubling. Although Mr. Martin has not been formally charged, they say the case is still being actively investigated and additional victims and witnesses are being sought. Detectives say they are aware that there may be additional victims that will come forward now that this initial information has been released.

Martin, who has been a teacher at Woodside since 1991, has been described as “the cool & fun teacher” by former students. They say he would always let his students watch movies, and would always goof around with the kids. He was placed on paid administrative leave shortly before the school year ended while the police investigated the claims against him.

45-year-old Martin was booked into the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez for Lewd Acts with Minors and the Continuous Sexual Abuse of Minors.

Martin’s bail has been set at $3,950,000, according to police.

101 Aghast....... June 29, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Dad @ 97 “he could have stayed on the gay side and not moved to kids.”

Are you kidding me?? That was such an ignorant, hateful statement. Shame on you……

102 Anonmom June 29, 2013 at 5:35 PM

To many of Mr. Martin’s former students who have posted here. How great of a teacher could he have possibly been? Your spelling, punctuation and grammar are awful.

103 Kai June 29, 2013 at 5:45 PM

I learned from Woodside years ago myself….I learned don’t trust teachers. My daughter and I both wanted a certain teacher (not Mr. Martin), and she got her for third grade. I was excited. Only two years later did I find out what went on in the classroom. The teacher had favorites and openly mocked students in the classroom. She told the kids not to talk about it, and they didn’t. I found out by accident two years later. At least one student was cutting herself in third grade because of the hostile environment in the classroom. My daughter’s self esteem plummeted because this teacher told her she was stupid. Parents, this was also a teacher that everyone wanted. The ‘good’ teacher. We had many great teachers at Woodside, but any school can have bad actors. We left after that experience and went to a private school where I could really be involved. This abused student of mine is now an elementary ed major and takes the responsibility to report abuse very seriously. She is hyper vigilant, perhaps because of her experiences. The majority of the teachers are good, some are great, and most would never want to hurt a child. It is up to both parents and educators to be vigilant. So sad to even say that, but when it comes to innocent kids we cannot be too careful. These incidents result in harm that is life-long.

104 Kellie June 29, 2013 at 5:49 PM

@#82…How dare you imply I believe the children were sexually assaulted for a reason! I was merely referring to us leaving Woodside. It is A-holes like you who have nothing better to do than pick apart someone else’s comment that usually keep me from reading Claycord!

105 Joe Blow June 29, 2013 at 6:29 PM

@ John and Sara, my point being
1. What did happen? Do you know, please share,
2. How about we try and convict him before we go cutting off his @#$% and having him A@# F!@##$ed every day.
3. If that is the penalty society wants to encourage,,,,,well, not sure what to say about that!
4. If I have kids or not is not relevant to my opinion to the punishment you nice people want to occur.
5. If it was my kid and he or she was truly molested, a simple .22 to the temple would suffice.

that’s my point

106 Nawbee June 29, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Like I said before I reported him many years ago when he was at Holbrook elem. everyone is talking about how nice Mr.Martin is . Of course he’s nice he’s trying to get kids and parents to trust him. I remember he would have a boy spend the night at his house. I knew this boys step-dad and I couldn’t understand why they ever let their son go to his house. They need to follow up on him when he was at Holbrook. This man is the biggest p.o.s. And another thing to the person who said kids lie. Well read the article it’s more then 1 child. Why would they lie ? Especially if this teacher was so nice

107 J. June 29, 2013 at 6:50 PM

He is Gay if he’s having intercourse with little boys.

108 uuuuugggghhhh June 29, 2013 at 7:18 PM

I won’t mention the school but there is a teacher
at my kids school who I am sure will be
shown to be a pedophile. His behavior
and friendships particularly with girls is plain creepy.
Too bad it will take someone speaking up
to finally bust him. This gives me hope though.

109 Con June 29, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Don’t be an ass and try to somehow equate being gay with being a pedophile. That simply shows how ignorant you are.
If this guy did what he’s accused of then he deserves a severe punishment. If others turned a blind eye as well, then they too likely broke the law and should also be punished.

110 shenanigans June 29, 2013 at 7:30 PM

@89 You are a twisted and sick human being. Someone must really hate their life to leave comments like yours. I hope you never have children.

111 ChampagneKitty June 29, 2013 at 7:39 PM

to J #107: Not necessarily. Most pedofiles are heterosexual.

112 Past student June 29, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I had Mr. Martin for 4th grade about eight years ago and he was the best teacher I have ever had. I can’t say that I am surprised by this though. I have to admit he was a little too friendly with a couple of students in my class. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families who have been hurt by Mr. Martin. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mr. Martin’s family.

113 cece June 29, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I was one of his former students and im not surprised. He had a homework club after school everyday i think. He always used to come up to kids when we were on the computer and pat and rub our backs he never did it to me but other students. I knew he was trouble. He also has his former students on his facebook and always held events at school to meet up with his former students, and i find that really creepy. I cant believe I was actually in his class, good thing nothing happened to me.

114 Jessica June 29, 2013 at 8:22 PM

@ Snow White – I am not perfect, and never claimed to be. I am flawed like every other living thing on this planet. I curse when I get upset, I have ran a red light or two, I drank before I was 21, and I skipped class sometimes. However nothing I have ever done is comparable to child molestation. Your “so many haters comment” just blew my mind. THIS WAS PEOPLES CHILDREN, do you understand that? Lives were affected ad will forever be affected from this man’s disgusting actions… You just brush it off like its no big deal and that is disgusting to me. You are the reason I think not everyone deserves the PRIVLEGE to procreate, & quite frankly I will speak my opinion on anyone / everything I feel the need too. However you are not the conversation piece here, so I will let you and your ignorance be.

I am deeply sorry for every family / child who has been hurt or affected by this monster. I hope all children / family involved get whatever help is needed to get past this tragedy in their lives, and move forward from this & not let this man’s horrific actions define them. I have a six your old son, and I couldn’t imagine going through something like this.

115 Teacher June 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM

#108. If you believe there is a problem teacher where your child goes, you have a responsibility to report it. Why would you wait until it is too late to say you knew something was wrong!

116 RickyD June 29, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Thoughts and prayers to the victims. Sadly this is nothing new. Someone in my family was a teacher at a elementary school where the “award winning” , “innovative” , everybody’s favorite principal was a molester and making kiddie porn at the school. The big red flag was that in addition to being principal he was also the girls’ cheerleading coach :

When I was in Jr high there was one male teacher that was quite popular with the kids and some parents. It was obvious at the time he had particular favorite boys that he lavished attention on and developed closer relationships with their families to gain access. Looking back, the warning was that he did not get along at all with the other teachers – always leaving his room open during lunch time for kids to join him for lunch – never eating with the other teachers, many of whom would make snide comments about him. He got booted from the Jr high under a cloud and ended up at a high school where a few years later he was charged with molestation.

As a father myself, all I can say is to trust your gut and know that your average man isn’t all that interested in being a friend or dad to other people’s kids. When someone else is as interested (or more) than you are in your own kid’s lives – look out – and never be afraid to speak up if you aren’t comfortable.

117 P-hill lovin June 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Still crazy and sad to hear because he was honestly my favorite teacher ever. He got us all into drama and he was always uplifting and fun! Never touched me or any of my friends (just told all my former friends about this) and just in disbelief. I know he has two young daughters, both under the age of 3. Who knows tho, that bail is extremely high which usually means damning evidence!


118 Pleasant Jenny June 29, 2013 at 8:57 PM

My boyz – again; former students – and I are now awaiting follow up. Too many stories here on Claycord ( and Mayor you know I love you ) have no follow up. We are part of this as are many of your readers. Please follow this story to the end.

119 Former woodside student June 29, 2013 at 9:30 PM

@anonmom well im not in a grammar punctation or spelling contest here im trying to get a message through many closed minded people like you and for your information he taught very well. He never touched anyone in our class and my sibling class. I dont believe he did that because I went there in 2008 and my sibilings went there in 2002. Also my friends had him in 2008 so thats why I believe he is innocent. But if he is guilty ima be disappointed. And @anonmom if my spelling grammar and punctation bothers you o well because I right how I right for a reason.

120 Pleasant Jenny June 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM

ps: “past student at #113″. You are obviously a girl and very smart at that!

121 Woodside Mom June 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Although my children never had Mr. Martin, I must say that Woodside is a fabulous school. The teachers are amazing, motivating, and provide rigorous curriculum. Before Woodside, my children attended a local private school…what a waste of a year! Their standards were far behind and my children had to play catch up the year we entered Woodside. My childrens’ teachers truly care about them and provide an engaging learning environment. I can’t say enough about this fabulous staff!!! Thank you Woodside!

122 Anonymous June 29, 2013 at 10:35 PM

What Mr. Martin may/or may not have done is up to a jury to decide. Please be kind in your remarks. Remember he has a family whom he has also hurt very badly. My heart goes out to them as well as all the families and the children involved. I worked with him at Holbrook and felt that he had a fabulous career in the future as his classes were so well behaved and he was so enthused about teaching as a young teacher.

123 Pleasant Jenny June 29, 2013 at 10:38 PM

@ Kellie – forget about the assholes here. I totally believe in things happening for a reason. And that’s all I’ve got for now…

124 John and Sarah June 29, 2013 at 11:19 PM

@ Joe Blow the. 22 to the temple is a nice touch especially for someone who thinks a man getting what he deserves in prison “rape” is barbaric!! Nice try

John and SaraH* get it right…..

125 anon June 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

PARENTS OF VICTIMS PLEASE don’t think that because your child doesn’t talk about it that they don’t need to, or that they don’t need help – they do. There are feelings of shame and humiliation, and it’s really difficult to talk to anyone about it, even mom or dad. They need to know they are ‘safe’ talking to you. Don’t freak out when you hear something horrific, and don’t say you’re going to kill him. That will just make them worry about you going to jail. Then they won’t feel safe talking to you about it.

They need to be validated, they need to be heard, they need to know that they did nothing wrong, that they are protected and safe, that he cannot get them. They need to know that if they have feelings of guilt because they helped get him in trouble, those feelings are just a result of his manipulation. They are helping others, they are protecting others by reporting this crime.

Please get professional help. It’s not something they will just ‘get over’ or forget about as time goes by. It’s much easier to deal with it now rather than later.

126 Shocked June 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM

I am both sad and shocked by the news of this. I have two children who had Mr. Martin. He was a great teacher and a dedicated one at that. My children are saddened by the news of these allegations. You people are passing judgment on someone whom most of you have never met. I helped in his classroom and saw what he did for many children so before you are ready to hang him, lets hear the facts first.

127 LOL June 29, 2013 at 11:38 PM

LOL, I wouldn’t want to be a teacher these days…

I wouldn’t prejudge this person. He could very well be a toucher, or not, but the fact remains, in this day and age, any teacher could go down for these claims. This is a corrupt society which I’m glad not to be apart of.

I’m looking for the nukes to clean house….

128 Joe Blow June 29, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Jon and sara,
I’m talking a simple execution if found guilty you’re speaking of torture.

nice try

129 Student from last year June 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM

I had Mr.Martin last year and I never really cared for him but my friends and I kind of always that he was weird and my friends all thought he was gay because of the way he acted to the guys. It always seemed he favored them the most. We all knew this was going to come down we all had a feeling about this.

130 John and Sarah June 30, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Jo plow An eye for an eye!!! If he is found guilty, were those poor children not tortured in your eyes??

131 Gabriel LeBaron June 30, 2013 at 5:02 AM

My Daughter attended Woodside Elementary this year and graduated from his class… I knew he was weird the moment he sent home pics of his baby home with my daughter.. another red flag alert was he made my daughter an 11×14 heart valentine for valentines day… I THINK THIS IS HORRIBLE THAT THE SCHOOL DID NOTHING TO NOTIFY ANY OF US PARENTS WHEN THEY FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS IN APRIL… I HOPE ALL THE PARENTS GET TOGETHER AND SUE THE SCHOOL DISTRICT… IM HORRIFIED AT THIS AND HOW THE DISTRICT COULD NOT GIVE US THE OPTION TO DROP OUR CHILDREN….

132 corncerned citizen June 30, 2013 at 5:03 AM


133 Gabriel LeBaron June 30, 2013 at 5:07 AM




134 J. Phipps June 30, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Joe Martin was my son’s 4th grade teacher @ Woodside. I’m having A LOT of difficulty w/this news. Joe Martin, if U did these Horrific things, may U ROT IN HELL, SLOWLY!!!!!

135 Sensible June 30, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Thank goodness that THIS principal took action (called Police) to end the alleged abuse! I’m sure the parents were not notified because it was an ongoing investigation and the principal was probably following orders from Legal at the district office.

136 Woodside Mom June 30, 2013 at 9:35 AM

The good news: There is NO WAY he’ll be returning to our school!! Maybe now there will be a position for Miss Robinet to come back!

137 FormerStudent June 30, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Wow, He was my 4th grader teacher 8 years ago ._. I always thought he was Gay I didn’t see this coming I mean he was wired and friendly ,TOO FRIENDLY but I always knew there was something up with him.

138 anon June 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

I lost track of which comment it was, sorry, but I have a request. Please do not make statements like, “you have to watch out for male elementary school teachers.” You have to be careful for the sake of your children but a person’s gender and choice of profession should not automatically make them suspect. I have many colleagues who are fantastic teachers and I hate that simply being male puts them in a suspect category.
Thank you.

139 Big Al June 30, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Hang the Bastard! ECV

140 Shabnam June 30, 2013 at 10:29 AM

I was in Mr. martins class this year. Mr. Martin always looked weird to me. He would always say “I love you” to the class and he would also say “you are the best class I’ve ever had.” My kindergarten bestie and I really wanted Mr. Martin as my teacher ever since I found out he was a teacher. Until my cousins friend told me that he touched kids and she warned me and told me to stay away. Then I was scared… Until I got him, and I met him, and I just thought she made it up to scare me.. Until a while after he would in comfortably touch kids… Mostly boys. I was FREAKED!! So I believe Mr. Martin is guilty! >:(

141 Shabnam June 30, 2013 at 10:31 AM

I had him this year and I truly thought he was gay but my friend would say “how is he gay if he has a wife, and two children?”

142 I'm glad to see this much anger June 30, 2013 at 10:56 AM

…because in the 60’s-70’s at my area school something like this was encouraged and the ones who knew were sworn to secrecy. I wasn’t one of the “cool” people who officially knew, but it was obvious something was going on plus the fact that the peers of the student in question whispered about it quite a bit on the playground.

So everyone suspected but I didn’t know for sure until the early 90’s when I was told what happened after an unofficial reunion of the class. This is what I was told: What we all saw and suspected was indeed grooming of the girl student starting around 4th grade. They had a relationship that was approved by her mother and the school had knowledge of this and did nothing. They eventually married when she became legal, had kids and were divorced not long after.

What I saw: A tall, blonde “C” (always average) student was his favorite and they flaunted it. She was smug and often bragged about their “special” relationship and that the school understood (This is grooming). Meanwhile the smarter, quieter, girls and boys were mostly ignored or treated with disdain. I did overhear some pretty damning whispers and when the “cool” girls saw me listening I was threatened that anyone who told would get into big trouble. Frightened into silence. Then beat up every day by their tough friend.

Unfortunately I know of a few other stories like this. But the thread connecting them (other than geographic) was that there were people in charge who sanctioned it and kept the secret. Maybe I’ll tell those other stories when the next perp is arrested.

And when you think you’ve heard it all a story like the following one comes along. Not for the faint of heart, but read it anyways. In news of the Catholic Church:


“Vatican Rentboy and Satanism Claims Revealed by Paedophile Priest Don Patrizio Poggi

Serving and former priests hired rentboys for sex in churches from pimp who sold consecrated hosts to satanists, says defrocked clergyman”

“Poggi told the police: “I decided to file this complaint and cooperate with the law after long reflection and after a painful history of abuse and misuse of power that I have overcome thanks to the faith that guides me.”

The 46-year-old, who has complained that the Vatican refused to reinstate him after he completed his prison sentence, added: “I feel obliged to protect the Holy Church and the Christian community since I am aware of grave facts that undermine their integrity and break canon and penal law.”

Poggi has reportedly handed the names of 20 alleged child abusers in the Roman clergy – including four serving priests and a Monsignor – to the authorities.”

143 So sorry to hear this..... June 30, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Praying for the families that are affected by this situation. We are all supposed to feel that when we send our children to school they are safe. Unfortunately, this is not always true. You will never know how many children were affected by this because parents are afraid to put their children through the growling task of testifying. This is a rock and hard place situation. God Bless the children! They have to know that if someone does inappropriate actions to them to tell their parents. They are the people who will go to bat for you.

144 Grace June 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Grace….it’s what we need more of in this world. I would like to think that there would be enough people out there on a jury that would WAIT and see what the evidence is before passing judgment. I have known Joe since he two and it hurts me to see some of these nasty, vulgar comments. Is he guilty? WAIT!! Be patient! Bail is set high to ensure he is not going anywhere until the investigation is over and because of the amount of people involved. The DA hasn’t even filed any charges and you have already condemned him! My own family has been on the receiving end of people ganging up and trying to burn us at the stake…just because there was more “power” being with the side with more numbers. My husband had 3 women decide they didn’t like him at the job because he was too strict….the result…..let go.I even had a restraining order served on me by an ex daughter in law for mentioning the work “God” in an e-mail to her. Supposedly she was so offended and threatened! I was embarrassed to say the least and felt “dirty” for having to go to court to defend myself. So what I’m trying to say is…is if you have NEVER been on the receiving end of accusations or injustice, it is VERY difficult to dig out from underneath the heaping coals ESPECIALLY if you are NOT guilty. And by the way, the results of our trials as a family was complete victory and justice. Our life now is better for it, but it was a difficult path to travel.
This is devastating to his WONDERFUL, outstanding family. If this whole thing was a misunderstanding, his career he worked so hard for is OVER…and if it was a misunderstanding, I hope HE sues the district and the people who accused him wrongly. I may have to eat my words, but I don’t think so.
It’s easy to wish someone harm and ill as revenge….it’s even harder to pray for them if they are guilty. I struggle with this every time I am wronged. Please, please, please….watch your language and what you “wish” to happen to someone. Someday you may be in that seat as well as one of your children and then you’ll be singing a different tune.

145 a mothers heart June 30, 2013 at 11:49 AM

@ sensible….I noticed you put the word “THIS” principal in caps. I am curious if you feel that Batesole knew? I had some issues with my child being bullied, and nothing was done until I threatened to contact Concord PD and the district. I am frustrated at the lack of information.

146 former woodside student June 30, 2013 at 12:29 PM

i always knew there was something wrong because he would always give us creepy smiles and hug us constantly. now that i am in middle school i feel better that i have left and i am glad these kids don’t have to worry about him. i always wanted mrs. burgman instead! he always went to over board with the fun and it would get creepy. he would try to add u as his facebook friend and i know that no teacher would try to do that! Hopefully Mrs Robbinett comes back!

147 a mothers heart June 30, 2013 at 1:30 PM

I have no issues with the,New principal, its the prior one, very nice lady but many reports that she didn’t want to deal with conflicts…..it was always made light of…

148 Seriouly June 30, 2013 at 2:19 PM

He was my 4th grade teacher like 4 years ago. He was always too nice. He gave us hella toys/food, watched tons of movies, and played on the computers everyday. I didn’t really realize he was such a creep and so weird till i was in 5th grade. At that time he also became a 5th grade teachers. I spotted the differences between the two classes. The other teachers loved us and cared for us, but did not spoil us with such gifts. I feel that he treats his students like his own children. I makes me really awkward because i just had him like 4 years ago.

149 Outraged! June 30, 2013 at 2:30 PM

So What? So What if it happened, No one got Hurt or Killed. What kind of a human-being are you? If there are multiple reports from other children, stating similar acts, most likely the courts have a pretty strong case against him.
And to say that No one got hurt? Are you on crack? It will take years, maybe even their whole life time to work through their injuries. This will affect their relationship with everyone. They may not have healthy relationships with adults, their spouses ( if they can maintain a relationship for any length of time), their own children, and most certainly with men!
The one thing they will have for sure is a sense of what pedophiles act like. I hope you do Not have children of your own! Your response makes me question whether or no your capable of taking care of children. They themselves may be i danger from You! You are small minded, and comply insensitive to what these children may have gone through.
So, I’m guessing from your response that its OK to Molest children! Hey no harm done right? WTF!!!!!

150 Justice 4 the kids June 30, 2013 at 3:17 PM

My son had Mr. Martin for the 5th grade. I fought to have him moved to other class then started to panic cause I could not. When my older child showed me the article on Claycord.com I literally fell off my chair. Not that I was surprised but because I knew he was a disgusting creep and my worst nightmares had just been confirmed. Any parent, teacher, administrator who did not know there was a serious concern or signs is INSANE. Since my child was in his class…..EVERY single day I had to talk to him about inappropriate behavior and ask him if everything was ok in the classroom.

There is absolutely not 1 question in my mind that he did everything that he is being charged for and …. sadly I know that MORE and MORE is going to come out. I can’t f’ing believe that I have not received anything from the school or school district notifying me of this!!! WTF my son was in this SICKOS class. For anybody on this BLOG who wants to verbally beat me up for allowing my son to be in Mr. Martins class for 1 day….don’t bother I am beating myself more than you can ever. If you have a gut feeling….DON’T EVER SECOND GUESS YOURSELF EVER!!!!

Also, I have about a 1000 comments to everyone posts and a 1000 things to say about Mr. Martin, his classroom, how it is so obvious he was grooming the children, what parents said when I put my children in Woodside when I moved here, Woodside handling this, etc etc ……Im just trying to calm down. Also, need to get my composure to call PD information hotline with what I know went on in this classroom…..the windows covered up so he “could have his light shows” and very more bizarre things.

I asked my son why the hell do you have movies everyday…I told him to sit as far away from Mr. Martin as he could then I think I sent an email to Mr. Martin and principal. The movies stopped for a short time.

151 Educator June 30, 2013 at 4:02 PM

This discussion sickens me. Really. But, like a horrible accident, I just can’t look away. I hope it turns out that this is all some sort of mistake, but it Doesn’t look like that will happen. If he did this, he should be punished harshly, and made to face the people who trusted him and whom he took advantage of.

152 MDUSD teacher June 30, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Reading the comments here is very difficult to do. So many on this blog claim to have “known” that this man was: creepy, strange, inappropriate, or worse. Many here have also claimed to have notified either the district or the principal of their concerns.
I know that many of the posts here are likely inaccurate, or even outright lies. But if even a small percentage of them (or even one for that matter) is found to be true, then the district is in some serious trouble.
As a teacher, my job is to educate and protect my students. I take that responsibility very seriously, and if I ever slack on that duty I would expect to be called on it. We clearly don’t have all the facts here, but its a huge, ugly story right now, and it doesn’t look to get any better.

153 Sensible June 30, 2013 at 5:43 PM

#150 Anon
The article clearly states that the police responded to a call from Woodside administration (principal) on April 25th…mandated reporting! Less than 36 hrs after hearing suspicions…She was in a meeting with the person who reported abuse and then called Concord PD. I don’t see how she didn’t handle it in a timely and appropriate manner.

154 N/A June 30, 2013 at 6:49 PM

this is very shocking to me
i had mr. martin in 4th and 5th grade and he ALWAYS said that he knows people would be uncomfortable from hugging him and he ALWAYS asked before doing so. i think this is probably a misunderstanding

155 ANON June 30, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Really and Sensible are both the Woodside principal, CLEARLY…who else would have the information that is being shared.

Everything I said will be confirmed in the coming days, weeks, months.

The “Woodside Family” has a few bad apples. One that was bad enough to get arrested, and another that is dangerous to have in a leadership role. They both need to be removed from the “family” so that the rest of the “family” can help each other heal.

I wonder what the district would think if they saw the comments being made by Really and Sensible…hmmmm

156 Sensible June 30, 2013 at 10:15 PM

#158 Anon

157 ANON June 30, 2013 at 10:45 PM

#156 How was it not handled appropriately? By allowing a teacher suspected of sexual misconduct to reenter the classroom – ALONE – and letting him question the students about touching them inappropriately.

As I said, there is more in the coming days, weeks, months. Need I go on?

158 Question? June 30, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Honest question…
If someone “gives you the creeps” or you just have a gut instinct, how do you report that?

159 Another former student June 30, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Another former student here and this was like 13 years ago. Honestly overall he was a good teacher as in I learned a lot in his class. Learned to type and made a movie. But he always had his “favorites.” Sad to say this doesn’t surprise me. He was always to friendly with kids. To think I almost went out to lunch with him no longer then a year ago. He’s been at woodside forever…just hope this hasn’t been going on all this time. When I had him sure he was friendly with his students but I never saw him touching students like that. But hell I was in 4th grade. MFer knew if he touched me he would of gotten a beating from my family. My prayers go out to all the victims and their families..You are not alone.

160 anon June 30, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Mr. Martin was involved in numerous “concerns” over the tenure of numerous principals, none of which contacted authorities. Each incident was handled within the district.

His is known to have a master key to the school, the district has been notified, as well as Concord PD, , no action to change the locks. This means in the past he has had access to STAR test exams, the school safe, curriculum files, staff evaluation files, and access to every classroom.

Many parents wrote letters to the school, begging for their children to be in his classroom over the years and bragged about their child’s classroom placement at the begging of each school year.

The district, past principals, and school office management praised Mr. Martin for his test scores, parent participation, school attendance records.

161 A Woodside Parent July 1, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Please remember that these are ALL accusations and there are many rumors floating about. Who KNEW that he had a master key? There were rumors about many things and I think some staff members put a target on Mr. Martin’s back and floated whatever rumor they could. I am mad as hell, not sure what to do, who to talk to or what to do next. I think we are all shocked it has gotten to this point. Again, there were rumors but many were fueled by spiteful non-professional staff members.

162 Former Woodside Student July 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM

It should be noted that one of the main reasons so many students wanted to be in his class was the “video” he would make each year about the 5 food groups. Now, think about how many students he has on video tape. Think about all the time he spent off site making the tape [there are scenes at Albertsons, empty parking lots etc] and it appears students that were ‘favorites’ were ‘stars’ of the videos. Most teachers don’t do anything off campus with students unless forced to go on field trips. The videos concern me the most, considering there are hours of footage he has on his personal equipment.

Also, to the comment about how it is a teachers duty to report abuse… it seems as though everyone felt he “creepy” but had no clear cut evidence of abuse. A teacher cannot report someone to the police for being “creepy.” However, administration should have been in his class EVERY DAY if he was covering his windows for ‘light shows’, sending out valentines and watching movies in class. I am unsure as to why nobody was more adamant about keeping an eye on his strange behavior.

163 Anon July 1, 2013 at 3:17 AM

As a former Woodside family this sickens me. My children never had Martin but he was the teacher many wanted. He had the parties. Kids could hang out in his class. He had homework clubs. His windows were always covered.

Someone said Miss Robinett is no longer there ? We love her. But what does she have to do with this and why isn’t she there any more ??? :(

164 JP July 1, 2013 at 3:57 AM

My son is a former 4th grade student of Joe Martin’s, 2005. I too, helped in his classroom. My husband & I both went on class field trips. My entire family, including grandparents, all appreciated, respected Joe Martin & yes, even liked the man very much. He was a great influence in helping my son get caught up in school. He even got him to do more homework more often! I remember how the children, parents too, were so happy to be in his class. I don’t remember anyone trying to get out of his class or complain about him. We never ‘got the feeling’ anything was out of the ordinary w/him… So, what I don’t understand, why, if so many of you did, did you not in droves, COMPLAIN?!? To the office staff? To the District office? I can’t imagine that either of these places would not have listened..?
I want to be clear, I am NOT defending him, if in fact he is guilty. Being that so far, there are 12 Victim statements. Quite possibly more. It truly does not look good.
Our thoughts go out to all the Victims & their families. May you heal, have peace in your hearts & souls.

165 MDUSD teacher July 1, 2013 at 6:40 AM

Anon 163,
Your first and third paragraphs could be true. But the others are ridiculous, and are a work of fiction.

Nice try.


166 Mac July 1, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Is there a school district anywhere, that continues to be ran so badly as MDUSD ?
But is also let to continue to do so for years on end ?

It just seems like new things come to light daily about MDUSD.
About how weakly ran this district is.
From McHenry to today.

And it just seems to continue.

Time for the State to take over this school district.
It has been proven for many years.
That no one in the Offices of MDUSD knows how to run this place correctly.

Hiring from inside this district, just means the same continues.
Only the name changes, not the way they run things.

167 Justice 4 the kids July 1, 2013 at 8:33 AM

What is the responsibility of the MDUSD and Woodside now to contact all former students and parents? The news reports states that the investigation has been on-going since April. As I stated before by child was a student of Woodside and Mr. Martins class. I have not been contacted or can find anything on Woodsides or MDUSD websites. I would not have known of this if it wasn’t for my older child seeing this on Claycord.com. I have a very strong feeling that there are more victims and children who have information. Should not every parent and/or student be notified immediately?

168 a mothers heart July 1, 2013 at 9:12 AM

@166….miss Robinett had nothing to do with this, she is simply another awesome teacher that was pink slipped due to budget cuts….she just had a beautiful baby girl and is very happy :) we love her too.

169 Con July 1, 2013 at 9:25 AM

@mac 169,
I do agree with you that the district has been run poorly over the last decade or so. But this situation has nothing to do with that. We have no evidence so far that any admin or district level actions (or lack of action) has been inqppropropriate.
Also. A state takeover would simply be horrible for everyone at this point. Teachers, students, admins, etc. you think our schools lack art, drama, and anything creative? Just wait til your kids school is taken over by the state. Imagine your child’s teacher with 3 or 4 beaurocrats standing in the back of the room interrupting Every time the teacher makes the slightest mistake. It’s horrific, and turns almost every room into a lifeless droning exercise. I hope you don’t get your wish.

170 Former Martin Student July 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM

I had this guy as teacher in 4th grade back in the 90’s, my late father went on few field trips with our class and I always remembered him saying ‘something is not right with that guy, I cant pinpoint it but don’t feel comfortable about it”……I know you can’t just turn someone in for being ‘creepy’ or overly friendly but its obvious this guy has been on peoples’ radar for many many years for a REAL REASON!!
If the accusations are real, I pray for those kids and family that they will be just fine and justice will be served!! SICKO!! News like this is so disturbing!!

I hope other Teachers who are trusted with our children get caught as well!! RID THIS WORLD OF ALL THESE SICK FREAKS!!

171 @ 60 July 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

@ Former woodside student

Just a hunch, but usually they don’t arrest someone and set a bail at $3,950,000 if there isn’t some pretty solid evidence to back up the claims.

172 Jason L. July 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

I had JUST finished 5th grade at Woodside in 1991 so I just missed this guy. It makes me shudder that these are the people we were supposed to trust.

173 Long Time Reader July 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

So, my question is this? What happens to this guy if they find the allegations to be false? Does he get his life back? Or does he still have a job? Will the people around him still trust him? NO! I think not.

174 Sad Sad Teacher and Parent July 1, 2013 at 12:23 PM

As a former educator at Woodside, I can assure you that if any staff member had known about these allegations, or had a feeling that inappropriate behavior was taking place in H-1, it would have been immediately reported. I know they must feel betrayed and are heartbroken for these children and the Woodside community.

Mr. Martin’s classroom tactics were outrageous and lacked a healthy learning environment. Decorations, parties, movies, games, and extended socializing should be laced in functions throughout the school year, but should not be the main focus.

As far as the principal’s responsibility to share, well, there are many avenues she could have taken. She should have held a meeting, informing the teachers that an investigation was taking place. Keeping them in the dark, along with the parents, lacks respect and compassion. Safety and protection of the children should have been her priority, not Mr. Martin.

I can’t help but feel that with a six-year gap in age, this would have been the first time an administrator or the District has heard of this. What a shame that 12, possibly more, had to face this brutal betrayal! The children who have come forth are extremely courageous. May their healing process begin, along with the poor Woodside staff and community.

175 Woodside Colleague July 1, 2013 at 1:03 PM

@Sad Sad #174 I’m sure I know you…I taught in H5. Always thought H1 looked like at carnival rather than a classroom. THAT was creepy.

I pray for his folks, his brother, his wife and children. If the charges are true then Joe fooled us all. This is very upsetting.

176 Michael July 1, 2013 at 2:40 PM

“Paid administrative leave”? Really, both the state and county are bankrupt (liabilities far exceed tax revenues) and yet the foolish school/government bureaucrats decide to keep paying this guy?

177 rene July 1, 2013 at 3:45 PM

PEDOPHILES ARE THE WORST! For those who feel “fooled or betrayed”(parents, teaches, etc.) these guys are SO CONVINCING! Never dealt with one as a teacher, but I attended church with one. I saw right through him in Bible Class, notified the pastor (who chose to remain in DENIAL), so needless to say, I left. I will never be in the same room with ANY SEX OFFENDER again. THEY’RE EVERYWHERE!

178 Old Friend of Mr.Martin July 1, 2013 at 7:02 PM

I’m in shock. I can’t believe that the person I’ve known and spent so much time with has been accused of something so heinous, and I’m sadder still to read these utterly hateful posts from complete strangers, who can not possibly know all the facts.But I’m not surprised; all media damns instantly, and the story people read first, they believe. Unless he has somehow hidden this rather blatant part of his personality from me for, oh, 20 years, I can’t believe it.

179 Woodside student July 1, 2013 at 7:34 PM

I’m only in fourth grade but I new something weird was going on with that guy my best friends cousin was in that class she said he would always go to over board with fun and ack really weird it’s sad too because he has children and a wife i know it’s hard for them he’s in jail and its 3.9million dollars to get him out

180 Pleasant Jenny July 1, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Posters 178 & 179 are same. Attempting to appeal to both parent and school age levels. Exact writing pattern beginning with “I’M…”


Even more brilliant on my part was making the highest bid at the school dinner dance/silent auction for my boyz to have “A bowling date with Mr. Martin”.

181 Anon Teacher July 1, 2013 at 8:23 PM

This is depressing as an educator myself… to all the parents voicing the ridiculous s#!* that’s happening in your children’s classrooms, the only advice I can give is: GET INVOLVED. I know many parents work, but create community in your grade level and try to get parents in the classrooms regularly if you want to know what’s going on. I admit, sometimes it’s annoying to have a parent sitting in the back of my room for 3 hours (I had a child with major behavior issues so mom visited OFTEN), but at least she knew she was always welcome and I had nothing to hide. A quality teacher should be able to work regardless of who’s present. Besides, most teachers I know will gladly take any help offered! So sad that such a large community’s trust has been so badly violated. Lots of healing will need to happen for the staff, students, and parents alike.

182 Justice 4 the kids July 1, 2013 at 8:37 PM

@Old Friend of Mr. Martin #178….REALLY!?!?!

First off I would have to say over 75% of the posts on here are from people who know Mr. Martin. Let me make this very clear!!! I DID know Mr. Martin! For 3 years! I don’t need to believe what the media is saying or anybody on this BLOG. He was my sons teacher for 1 year. I told my son to tell me if ANYTHING happened and to absolutely never ever be alone with him DAILY. Did you go to his classroom often? Did you see him around male children often? Are you questioning that the 12 students who so far have come forward are not telling the truth? That the principal had no reason to call PD she just had an urge to get him in trouble that day? That after weeks of investigation the Police had nothing sooooo they just arrested him and set his bail at 4 million dollars? I do not know al of the facts YET, but I am very confident he has ruined a lot of lives. A VERY SAD SICK FEELING IS WHAT I HAVE RIGHT NOW.

I am not surprised at all that after 20 years of knowing him you did not see his sick BLATANT personality. Trust me he had everything planned out and groomed us all. I will give you examples of this as a parent of a student of his……..he had us in his classroom sooo often. He would send us weekly schedules of when he needed us in the classroom (hmmmm wanted us to feel that we were always welcome. CHECK) Would have all these gatherings for parents to meet his family, his parents, wife, eat baked goods his wife made, blah blah) Only teacher who’s ever done this! Send pictures of his babies, huge pics of his wife and baby on his desk. Told the kids he loved them, tried to hug all the boys constantly, gave them candy and toys, etc etc Kids loved him! Trust me he got us parents too.

183 old woodside student July 1, 2013 at 9:53 PM

I to was once in his class. he was the best teacher I EVER had. he was my favorite teacher, he made learning fun, and made my test scores skyrocket. he may look creepy but once you get to know him he is pretty cool. once I found out about this situation I was so devastated I didn’t come out of my room for a long time. I will not believe he did this until he is found guilty.

184 Old Friend of Mr.Martin July 1, 2013 at 11:13 PM

@Pleasant Jenny
You are incorrect. I posted # 178 only.
Seriously, beginning a sentence with “I’m” is your only claim?

@Justice 4 the Kids
Yes really. Pardon me if I defend a life-long friend.

185 Don't Censor Me Bro July 2, 2013 at 3:49 AM

Past behavior is nice, but does it vitiate the molestation of multiple minors, over time, if proven true?

That is the question!

Perhaps it depends on what the definition of “Is” is, no?

186 Anon July 2, 2013 at 7:15 AM

No wonder Piccolo hasn’t been posting.

187 Anon July 2, 2013 at 8:17 AM

184 be careful defending a monster. 12 kids . Did all 12 kids lie? And the allegations of suspicion over the years. If I see snow on the ground in the morning, I don’t have to have seen it snowing to know it snowed.

188 Former Woodside parent July 2, 2013 at 11:17 AM

@Old Woodside Student… You are another casualty of this sad story. All of the other students who have had a positive experience with Mr. Martin, His betrayal does not only affect those brave 12+++ students and families, but all of those who loved him and had fond memories of their “favorite” teacher are forever tarnished.

189 Feel for the people who knew him July 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Assuming the allegations are true, I want to extend my compassion to both the victims and also the friends, colleagues and family of Martin. Please don’t beat yourself up that you could not see his heinous acts. Pedophiles are masters of deception and grooming victims. Unfortunately, pedophiles aren’t always the creepy homeless guy, and it can be hard for the average person to spot them. Prayers for the victims, and healing and restoral of trust to the families involved.

190 5th grade teacher July 2, 2013 at 2:36 PM

I am a male fifth grade teacher. This sickens me on several levels. This dude taught my brother’s son a couple of years ago. Both parents volunteered in his class and would rave about how awesome his class looked. What really hits home is that I joke around with my students and like to keep it “light” when I can to make it more fun for my students. If he is guilty, and I have to believe he is, he has ruined the lives of many people. Imagine his wife and kids.

191 A Friend of Mr. Martin July 2, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I feel like I’ve been hit with a hammer.
Half a lifetime uttterly shattered.

192 Pleasant Jenny July 2, 2013 at 8:49 PM

I am so sorry to all friends of him and to all of us that were fooled. Thank you, number 189 and I will pray for you number 190 that you do not face even greater challenges being a male teacher as you already do.

193 Former student July 3, 2013 at 3:52 AM

Crazy, I had him in 4th grade back in 2005. Me and my friends always knew it. He would always pat our backs and give us hugs and be creepy. He had students sit on his lap and gave us candy and played with us at lunch. Honestly not surprised at all. I used to joke about him being a rapist long ago and now I know it’s true

194 Owen July 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM

My son goes to this school, and every time I saw Martin I asked a fellow parent who that guy was. He just looked off to me and now we know why. This is one sick man and I hope someone who is serving time who has a young son graps ahold of Martin and beats the living crap out of him. My son wanted to have him next year for 5th grade and his final year at woodside. I can just thank the good man upstairs that they caught this guy now, and not a year from now because if he ever did anything inappropriate to my son, it would be all over for Martin, Woodside, and the entire school district. Martin after you rot in prison for the rest of your life, you will then rot in hell! It really sucks to be Joe Martin. Thank God his daughter won’t have him around to sexually abuse her. My heart goes out to his wife and daughter! Mr Martin I can’t wait for you hear the words guilty and then rot in hell you sick bastard!

195 friend July 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM

I have known Joe Martin for 19 years. He has been like a brother to me. We have spent numerous holidays together. I have 3 children who have known him their whole lives. All have been educated in molesting and all say NOTHING happened. If Joe is guilty than I believe he should be put to death or put his family out of agony and kill himself. People are accused of things that didn’t happen. I will wait and read the evidence. He won’t go to court for a long time. Please pray for his family. They are incredible people. It appeared to me that Joe really did care fort his students.I’m not being blind or ignorant. I knew Joe very well. Instead of anger I ask that you all believe the truth will come out. I too am a victim of abuse, so not completely ignorant. People are accused of things they didn’t do. Yes, Joe was eccentric. Does that make him a monster? I don’t know….

196 Erica July 3, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I had Mr. Martin for 4th grade in 98. His class was my favorite and I still remember many of the things he taught us, like healthy cooking and meteorology. I have a lot of good memories from that year, and I was very saddened to hear about these allegations. However I do remember when I was in his class, my late mom told me she thought something was weird or off about him, but didnt necessarily think he was touching children. He was never creepy towards me or anyone I know, so I’m wondering if this was something he started doing later in his career? What makes me feel really uncomfortable about all this is that he made class movies every year and likely has all those videos of students, including myself, archived somewhere. I feel bad for those who he molested if allegations are true, and I feel bad for his family.

197 Holbrook student July 11, 2013 at 1:36 AM

I had Mr. Martin for 4th grade many, many years ago. He befriended a family I was very close to. The mother volunteered daily. The rumors spread about Mr. Martin being gay. He had openly admitted this to her. She and my mother were best friends. I was told to be nice to him and not share this secret. I was always very nice. One day he had grabbed a classmate of mine, wrestling and spinning. I felt very uncomfortable with the placement of his hands. When we came in from recess I approached him and told him that this was inappropriate play for a teacher. He had me go outside. There he scolded me for implying that he had done something wrong. I stood my ground, telling him that it was inappropriate and made me feel sad. He was very angry with me and told me how bad I was. He continued until I was sorry, crying and wanting him to forgive me. I remember the class movie. I remember the covered up windows. I remember how terribly sad he made me feel when I tried to speak up. I’m not shocked that this has happened. My mothers friend–Mr. Martins friend didn’t believe me. She believed that she knew him best. I must have been only 9 at the time, but I recognized something was bad in him. I’m heartbroken for his family. Their world is flipped upside down.

I know that friends & family want to protect him. His “really good friend” helped protect him from me, all those years back. She wanted me to stop “telling stories”. Please try to accept that he has done these things. Humans are capable of evil, Mr. Martin is human.

198 Marcella July 11, 2013 at 4:18 AM

I hope this is true otherwise education has been negatively effected. Both my children had Mr. Martin and he was the most influential teacher. he not only educated students but managed to educate parents as well. If he rubbed a students back his intention was to stimulate brain activity through touch. Don’t you think he would have been a preschool teacher; if his goal was to sexual abuse kids. Why would he dedicate his life to stimulate students brains with intention to damage them emotionally! I feel sorry for all the students that will now not have the oppotumitu to be taught by the best teacher this district had.

199 Holbrook student July 11, 2013 at 8:25 AM

@ Marcella. No, I do not think he would work as a preschool teacher if he wanted to molest children. Where is the logic in your statement? There are many child molesters found, working in Elementary schools. He will be found guilty Marcella, because, he is. How do you see all the statements above, the bail amount set, the children who’ve come forward, and still say that his absence from the educational system is a huge loss? When people have blinders on, such as yourself, it keeps our youth at risk.

200 @ Marcella July 11, 2013 at 9:32 AM

This is one of the worst legacies of pedophiles, the division and loss of trust that arises in the impacted communities. If your interactions with him were positive, then all this seems like a witch-hunt to you, but rest assured, for the impacted families, it is very real and devasting. Pedophiles have many faces, and they obviously can’t molest all their students. For many families, Joe Martin may be a trusted friend and neighbor, but for some families, he will be a monster. We need to extend our compassion to them and victims.

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