Allegedly armed teacher worked at Palo Alto school district

Man arrested in San Jose worked as Palo Alto substitute teacher

Palo Alto Unified School District officials said Thursday that an eighth-grade teacher arrested in San Jose on Wednesday had been a substitute teacher in the district on several occasions.

Charles So, 35, was arrested at Chaboya Elementary School for allegedly keeping a gun in his classroom and committing a strong-arm robbery in February, police said.

Officers responded to a person calling for help at 88 S. Fourth St. on Feb. 21 at 2:02 p.m. and allegedly found that road rage had escalated to a strong-arm robbery.

So allegedly battered a man and forcibly took his cellphone. A police investigation led to So's arrest at the school.

Police said So is employed as a full-time teacher and had a loaded handgun in a satchel inside his classroom at the time of his arrest.

Palo Alto Unified School District officials said So substituted on eight separate occasions during the 2017-18 school year before he was hired full-time at Chaboya.

In a press release, the district said it notified parents and staff at the schools he substituted at that "there were no reported concerns about his performance in our classrooms and that he passed required background checks before we placed him."

So will be booked into the Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of felony strong-arm robbery and possession of a gun at a school, police said on Wednesday.

Anyone with information about So is asked to call San Jose Police Sgt. Ray Vaughn at 408-277-4166.


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5 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Aug 31, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Is he really grinning in his mug shot or did that photo come from somewhere else?

3 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 31, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Hmmm...sounds/looks like the school district vetting & hiring process needs some additional attention (to detail).

2 people like this
Posted by Tim Buck II
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 31, 2018 at 7:05 pm

Must have had a couple of parent conferences already.

2 people like this
Posted by Sigh
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 31, 2018 at 9:27 pm

Sad to hear a young man, who is supposedly seen as a role model for our youth, has resulted to these antics. I’m hoping that he can redeem himself. I want to believe that there is good in all of us, and I hope that parents can see the good he has shown to the children prior to this incident.

It’s easy to judge his character, but let’s hold off on that until there is more information.

2 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 31, 2018 at 9:51 pm

Wow,we really need to pay our teachers more. :D

On a more serious note, to address R. Davis: So's background check passed because his first recorded crime didn't happen until after he was hired. Technically, the vetting worked.

1 person likes this
Posted by Avatar
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm

So, What's the deal?

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