South Bay science camp discontinues community service program


SARATOGA (KRON) — Saratoga’s Walden West Camp is under scrutiny once again, this time because parents have recently learned that the camp had allowed low-level offenders to perform court-ordered community service on the property.

This discover comes just weeks after former employee, 27-year-old Edgar Covarrubias was arrested and charged with seven felonies. Among other crimes, Covarrubias is accused of molesting a 10-year-old camper and having more than 600 images of child pornography.

According to the Santa Clara County Office of Education website, the office decided last month to end a 25-year agreement with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office in which low-risk offenders were allowed to fulfill their court-ordered community service sentence¬†at the Walden West Science Centers in Saratoga and Cupertino.

The center offers summer camp style educational programs for K-8 students, and the low-level offenders were apparently allowed to perform janitorial type duties during the day and under supervision.

One parent suspects that the school ended the program as a reaction to Covarrubias’ arrest.

The Office of Education says that the program was ended “in an effort to keep a tighter control on the adults on-site and to address more consistent scheduling with respect to maintenance and field work.”

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