Arroyo Grande teacher takes students to nude beach

March 2, 2010


An Arroyo Grande High School photography teacher allegedly took four students on an unapproved field trip to a local nude beach, and now some parents are upset.

“I think it was bizarre,” said one parent who asked to remain anonymous because of her daughter’s discomfort with the situation. “It was not appropriate.”

While some of the teenage girls’ parents had signed broad waivers allowing photography teacher Allen Fraser to take their children off campus for photo taking, some had not signed the releases.

On Feb. 17, Fraser asked four of his first and second period students to accompany him to Pirates Cove, a nude beach with a reputation as a hook-up spot for homosexuals. Fraser drove two of the girls to the beach in his car and two others followed in their own car, according to parents.

When they arrived at the beach, the girls were instructed to shoot photos.

Currently, a lawsuit filed by San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Deputy John Franklin claims that, because of a brush with a masturbating homosexual he encountered at Pirates Cove during an undercover sting operation, he suffers from mental and emotional distress.

Arroyo Grande High School Principal Ryan Pinkerton told CalCoastNews he was unaware of the teacher’s excursion to Pirates Cove.

“Just going there is inappropriate,” Pinkerton said.

Pinkerton had said he would look into the issue and respond. However, his staff then forwarded all requests for comment to the district office. Officials at the Lucia Mar School District were unavailable for comment.


I did not have the impression while reading this article that the teacher made any improper gestures or had any immoral intentions towards any of his students. He was accompanied by 4 girls, not one girl.

This story say’s he took the students to Pirates Cove and he did.

It say’s Pirates Cove is a nude beach and it is.

It says not all the parents approve of this, and they don’t.

It says that police have conducted undercover stings for improper gay sexual escapades in that area, and they have, in fact a COP WAS MOLESTED!

That’s what this story say’s and it’s all true. I looked at the web site that the high school student mentioned. It appeared that groups of students were all in different locations of the Avila Beach area, while the teacher and the 4 girls clearly made Pirates Cove their destination.


the teacher wasnt with the girls he was with everyone.

and the school and school board dont know except the students!


Cindy, The story says he took students to a nude beach, It’s in plain ol english right on top of the article.

The parking lot at the end of Cave Landing Road is not a beach, in fact it’s quite a good hike to the beach from there.

Proximity does not make that parking lot a “nude beach”

It is an untrue statement unless some kids actually went down to the beach.

If they did, there is a problem just like Karen reported, if not, then this is an unfortunate case of sensational journalistic license.

I have no problem with taking that teacher to task if administration rules were not followed, but using the “nude beach” description needs to be either proven or retracted.


O.k. I’m probably going to get beat up by some who will not get the point but here goes.

I haven’t been out that way (Cave Landing Rd) in over twenty years but isn’t that a dead end road, for the only purpose of accessing Pirates Cove? And please spare me that, “it is a nice overview lookout”, which it is but also an access point too.

Now with that stated if I was to take a group like this into the Fremont lobby in SLO to take pictures of the artwork, while they were showing an x-rated movie inside, it might all very well be good and innocent and you never went to the place in question but putting yourself into the vicinity of a controversial area, then it leads to people to wonder and state inuendo.

So I again am not saying 100% that there may have been any alterior motive but putting yourself into an area like this you get people raising questions. Now go start hitting that thumbs down button.


Vagabond, Do you really think that Karen would say the girl’s were down on the beach if they weren’t? She doesn’t pull this stuff out of thin air, although there have been many times that people hoped that was the case. She hasn’t been proven wrong yet.


Cindy, Like in finances, past performance does not guaranty future successes.

I am simply pointing out that nobody yet has said that any student actually went down to the beach, except Karen.

Where is the evidence? Either they were on the beach or not.

Here is my problem, If no kid actually went to the beach then why state so in your headline?

There can only be two conclusions.

One, You don’t know that the “nude”beach is quite a walk away from where the parking lot is, so you have made an error in geography,or,

Two, You make the accusation using hot button words like “nude” in order to pique the readers interest despite the fallacy of the statement itself.

The latter instance is a well known trick that William Randolf Hearst used to great effect, it has a name and that is yellow journalism.

I honestly hope I’m wrong as I have a great respect for this website.



Cindy, you say “in fact a COP WAS MOLESTED!”. How does a small unarmed person molest a cop with a gun?

No, the weak kneed sorry excuse for a cop ‘says’ he was touched by a suspect. He is now suing everyone in sight claiming emotional damage-I say throw him off the cliff at the Cove. So, even though there ‘might’ be some homosexual activity in the region (not on the beach, not on the parking lot) no one can be expected to avoid public areas because someone else says there has been questionable activity there. If so none of us could go anywhere.


Yup hotdog, I agree with everything your saying. This deputy is one sorry a** wining gold digger. He was undercover and I doubt that he was sporting his gun in plain site. It also doesn’t take much to reach out and stroke someones genitals which is what happened to this deputy, (personally I think it’s funny since he was dumb enough to get that close). My point is that it happened and that there is plenty of other beautiful coast line in the area. Pirates Cove is no place for a teacher to take a bunch of school girls or boys.


Cindy, again I wonder about your comments. You said ‘It also doesn’t take much to reach out and stroke someones genitals which is what happened to this deputy’. We don’t know that. Only the cop and priest know what happened, and I wonder why you keep asserting that a real sexual advance even occurred against the deputy. The mention of it in the article and your continued harping on it is sensationalist and perhaps not even true.


The article says he took the kids to a nude beach. If they go next to the beach but not on the beach they didn’t go to the beach? I bet when this is fleshed out, the girls went to the beach while some of the kids came later and stayed on the cliffs. But that is not important. What is important is that he took children to a questionable location without informing parents or the office.

The article does not say the teacher molested the kids or did weird things to them, it says he took them to a place with problems. Many of the writers are claiming the story says untrue things about the teacher. It is true that he took the kids to Pirates Cove. In the past, on many of Karen’s articles they have said untrue. Than later it is proven to be true. Time after time. Some are saying her tone insinuates something else. I think Karen would have said if the teacher was accused of bad acts against students. She did not. So why are so many saying that is the issue. I think to diffuse the real issue. And some just look for any reason to attack the writer. Though when proven wrong, I don’t see them apologizing. I think it is nice to have some actual reporting in the community.

Also, it seems that a group of students are defending a teacher that allows them to go wherever they want everyday and have fun. When I first read this article, I felt the teacher would get a reprimand for a poor decision. But now, largely due to the response from students, I believe more is going on.


Wow, it appears that this is morphing into a big hornets nest and the litle hornets are flying everywhere now aren’t they? When all five of my kids went on any and all school activities, field trips, museums, disneyland, wherever, there was more than one adult for an entire class. There is no way this one teacher could handle an entire class of two class periods which would tell me would be 25 or more by himself, even parents were intended to have a life partner when they have their own family, its difficult for one person to manage without having help; although it is done with single parents, its difficult and one teacher is no different, what was he thinking? . Anyone listening in to the comments that were made by those boy students over the air last night were in obvious direct conflict of each other, hmmm… their stories did not line up and why are there no girl comments from the class? Why didn’t ALL these kids know it was a class trip, when was this supposed “class agreement” made? This sure sounds like these boys are covering something up. My guess would be that perhaps those boys were either not there and that they went someplace else or maybe even went down to the beach after supposedly having been told not to go. And, why were there kids that went rockclimbing? I didn’t send my kids to school wearing their rockclimbing shoes, seriously! How do you take photos while hanging off a rock? Thats not a good safe and sound class trip in my book! Also, the comment that was made that the teacher supposedly said: “Don’t go down to the beach because there may be nudists” tells me that he was well aware of the surroundings and that it was questionable, in a nutshell —– the teacher should not have agreed to taking this class or anyone from it without having it all pre-arranged and well thought out in advance. If this teacher is the great teacher I hear that he is, I hope for him that this situation brings out all the problems that have been exposed and that the teacher and the school district learns something from this situation and then makes time to make some serious changes about educating their teachers about the seriousness of school field trips. Its definitely an eye opener, I only hope everyone’s eyes have been opened and not just the parents.


well i am a girl in this teachers class, and if you had other information other than these 3rd party lies you would know what really happened. He had complete control over the class by himself because we aren’t a group of 5 year olds. There were no problems or injuries so obviously everything was handled responsibly? “what was he thinking?” He was thinking that a mature group of students(whose parents were aware and signed wavers) could handle taking pictures of a trail without going near the beach which was accomplished.(and there are many single parents doing a fine job out there.) The class insisted on going on a group field trip because we are all passionate about the photography class and we all voted on the place. He didn’t choose where the class went. For you and so many other naive people reading this article to make assumptions, is understandable because of the untrue statements and how things are twisted but you also should know to always get your facts right before believing the press. The boys you heard on the radio that you conclude to be “covering something up” are just a few of his many students that are aggravated by the accusations against our highly respected teacher. The trip was pre-arranged and well thought out in advance, i have no idea where you conjured up that statement. This article is far from and eye opener because everyone is still blind and ignorant to the reality of what actually happened.


Hello. I’m a Brutal student at brutal Ag high :p

i would just like to say that all of this is so, so, so, so [LAME]. i mean yeah what Fraser did was wrong. but he didn’t take the girls and they were on the cliff the whole TIME! The news people are stupid, get your story right. and before you go out accusing people look into the school first and see what really happened. Where’s the love people! <3 show it ha. word up! Hardcoreman out!!


Bro Karen totally screwed up!

Get it right. all the kids logically beat Karen and her associates. So grab a tissue if you have issues!


Central Coast News always does a phenomenal job of reporting and I personally have trust in what is reported. Many posts here are missing the point … Pirate’s Cove isn’t the primary issue, it is a teacher taking students on a field trip without parental or school district consent. Additionally, if one of the students drove her own vehicle to this “photo shoot,” that is a huge liability NO, NO. If any of you have been involved with youth activities you should know the liability requirements and related implications. If it is also true Mr. Fraser only took four girls out of two classes, this is troublesome. I can only hope Lucia Maria School District and Arroyo High School administrators thoroughly investigate this reported event. In my opinion, we can NEVER be too cautious or careful with our children, no matter what their age.


No YOU are missing the point.

If this article is about administrative mistakes concerning field trips then the title of the article should reflect that concern, instead we have a title that Randolf Hearst would have been proud of, it’s called yellow journalism.

No one has contested that no kid actually went to the nude beach. No one has contested that no kid saw a naked person, or for that matter any person at all.

The title of this article is false!

The side bit (which has NOTHING to do with your concern) is about a policeman’s suit against the State,

Again it has nothing to do with school field trips, it is simply a way to make a titillating weak linkage.

Again, another journalistic straw man.

Karen usually does so much better. I am disappointed.


The title is teacher takes students to nude beach and that is part of the issue. Just not getting the right approvals is bad but to not get the correct approcvals and then take a group of children to Pirates Cove, much more of a problem. And again looking down at a beach from the clifs or standing on the beach. Not a huge difference. Though agian, I do think when this is looked over it will be shown that some children were on the beach. And problems with vice stings at at Pirates Cove gives more of a reson the techer should have thought twice. All relevant info.


Again, if kids were down on the beach, the actual beach, then there is a problem.

Bring on the evidence.

I’m waiting.


If proper field trip procedures had been followed, Pirates Cove wouldn’t be a topic of discussion. Field trip procedures are in place for many reasons and this incident is a good example of why parents sign field trip permission slips and information is filed with the school. Just possibly Mr. Fraser chose not to follow procedures because he knew a field trip to Pirates Cove was inappropriate and wouldn’t receive school approval. What if a student had been injured, did Mr. Fraser have emergency contact information with him? What if the student driving had an auto accident? If Mr. Fraser took both classes of students on this field trip, where we the chaperons–it is prudent to have one adult for every six to eight students. Obviously Mr. Fraser did not use good judgment especially taking four female students to a nude beach. The fact that Mr. Fraser’s wife is pregnant is a non-issue here … the issue is Mr. Fraser took students to an inappropriate and dangerous location and did not follow field trip procedures. To think a male high school teacher chose four female students to a nude beach location leaves one wondering many, many things!!!!


the parents (of the class because it wasnt just a few girls who went) did sign wavers. That stated both that they could leave, and that the were allowed to ride in the vehicles.


im glad everyone is getting a chance to get their opinions out, but lets get something straight here.

because of this article and over exaggerated accusations, mr, fraser has been suspended from teaching and may loose his job.

because this article has painted a picture of fraser being a perverted, hyper sexual pedophile, he will be forever discredited as a teacher and photographer.

there will be no simple ending to this.

i hope every one is satisfied for potentially ruining he and his pregnant wife’s life, especially in this economy.

bravo. bravo.


Time out. Karen did not get anyone suspended. If AGHS has indeed suspended Mr. Fraser, it’s because they determined ON THEIR OWN that he violated school policy. Don’t blame the messenger.


Oh ya Dave, School Administration exists in a vacuum, never responding to popular opinion however misdirected.

This road goes both ways and you know it.


Vagabond: You’re just assuming. Karen reported the story. The school is responding as they think is best. End of debate.


Then defend the title Dave, Is it true or false?


I am Jonathan From the show last night Joel and I are in different periods I am in 1st and 2nd photography and he is in 3rd and 4th thats why it was all jumbled up story. I am actually in his class right now! and he isn’t here because of this stupid false article about him. Why would he bring 4 girls hand picked to pirates cove when he has his first baby on the way! They cut me off so I couldn’t talk a lot of what happened that day I am Jonathan I posted a picture of me on here earlier no one was here I will be posting more pictures of our shoot. HE TOOK PICTURES OF ALL OF US THERE!!!!! I WILL BE POSTING THEM ONCE FRASER IS BACK SO I CAN GET THEM!




I am a parent and the story is true. Two girls DID ride with Mr. Fraser and 2 followed him in their own car. If other kids showed up later, the girls were already on the beach and oblivious to them. Mr. Fraser is an adult and knows that alone is wrong. Lets deal with the truth and move forward….nobody wants anyone fired, hurt, ect…but a teacher does know right and wrong; he is a role model for our kids…


After reading many of these posts, this deal has got so blown out of proportion it is crazy. Fro Christ’s sake, you can’t even make out a naked person from the cave. It is too far away. It’s only about a 1/4 mile plus hike down to the beach. This article did bring up another issue about Pirate’s Cove which is the deputy/homosexual interaction. If this poor, poor deputy is suing the county for mental anguish, why isn’t the county suing anyone and everyone that was part of letting this unstable individual work in law enforcement? How did he pass a psyche test? Would you want him responding to an emergency? Oh no, I can’t shoot that robber, I’m scared. I will tell him not to shoot back because I have mental insecurity. What the hell is this guy doing on OUR payroll?


As far as I can tell from all this information, and none of it contradicts this conclusion.

The teacher did not take any students to a nude beach. The Title of this article is false.

The parking lot and caves at the end of Cave Landing road IS NOT THE NUDE BEACH

Pirates Cove the nude beach is down a long winding path to the beach

Someone please get Karen a dictionary and look up the definition of BEACH

It also appears, and is not contradicted by anyone is that no student saw a naked person.

If Taking students down a road that leads to where naked people might be is an issue then keep your little darlins in the woodshed.

Every road leads to naked people somewhere.


Pirate’s Cove beach is NOT limited to the largest of the beach areas. There are several other beaches that you can hike down to and there are nude bodies there. I don’t care if you see nude bodies. I do care when you see violence everywhere. It was noted that the aggressive and not so aggressive overtures for sex acts don’t take place on the beach but in the shrubbery above, at the parking areas.

So, let’s all agree there were more than 4 teenage female children, they included many other male and female teenage children. Which ones had permission?

Did the permission include rock climbing?

Pismophotodude, you have a passion and love your teacher. This is great. Work on your spelling. Colour is the British version of color. Color is the American version of the word. Your pertains to a person. You’re is the contracted form of “you are”. No offense is meant by this correction – your teachers should have been on you about this.

As you grow academically, you will also mature as a person and it will be easier to see the concerns of the adults.

Don’t get sidetracked by the other stuff.

Are you in a photojournalism class? If so, spelling will matter, and you will also know how incomplete people can be when they tell a story. You’ll have a better feel for Karen’s job and how reporters will make all efforts to interview everyone, but can only tell the story they are given. This was a story worth writing as you can see from all of the responses here and on Dave’s show last night. I hope it gets you thinking critically, helps you and others work hard in school in all of your subjects, and that you consider the adult perspectives here when you become a father or an uncle.


Pirates cove beach IS the beach at the end of the trail, there are only TWO beaches accessible from the end of Cave Landing Road The one north of Pirates has long been a gay hangout. neither of these beaches are close enough to the end of Cave Landing Road to be considered as part of one another.

I would wager that at this time of the year there are far more deviates wandering the mission plaza than at the parking lot at the end of Cave Landing road.

Would you object to a field trip to there?


At least you aren’t condescending. Good for you.


Karen, if you were truly a “jounalist” you’d print a retraction. After re-reading the article again it’s more than just a piss poor reporting, it’s more like a third rate attempt at trying to creating a scandalous “inciident”. As a reader of CCN you’ve lost my trust and worse yet it appears that you and CCN “news” are more interested in driving page views the good reporting. It’s just not this article, it’s also the way you reported the Atascadero incident. It didn’t take 30 hrs for the police to respond. The police contacted the individual withing a few minutes and the result of that contact is an issue but it wasn’t 30 hrs. The “30 HOURS” was the Police Chief actually speaking to the business owner which in itself is pretty amazing and certainly shows a level of concern that you’d be hard pressed to find in any community.


Feel free to list all the problems with the reporting — you make the accusation, but don’t provide any examples. Multiple parents have been calling CCN tonight, thanking Karen for the story and agreeing that their children should not be out at Pirates Cove.

In terms of the Atascadero incident (which the Tribune finally got around to covering today) the facts of the story are correct and you can speak directly to the owner of KJON in Atascadero if you have any doubt about the time frame.


Dave, you’re waaay too close to the reporter to be unbiased. In Ms. Velie’s haste to get a story out she didn’t get all the relevant information and blamed the school district for the mis-information.

To your point.

1. The whole class went so it wasn’t only just 4 Female students that went as the article infers. What are you going to do Dave argue that well there were 4 female students so it’s, what?, technically accurate. The way the article is written repeating that there were girls and girls only along with the teacher and two were in his car alone is loaded with inuendo and written to generate speculation with the reader. You probably will deny that.

2. was it really “unapproved” given that parents had signed a broad waiver for the class?. Obviously there is an issue with students whose parents hadn’t signed the waiver for the class but that’s more of an administrative issue.

3. Did the students actually hike down to nude beach?. Sure doesn’t sound like from the students comment on this board but that is what the article leads you to believe.

4. What is actually being inferred by writing that “When they arrived at the beach, the girls were instructed to shoot photos”. Isn’t that what you suppose to do in photography class. But in the context of the article there is way more being intimated.

5. What does the Sheriff’s officer suit have to do with the field trip other than to spark some emotional fear the student were going to get raped by some crazed homosexual.

6. I wonder what Ms. Velie actually told the Principal what had happened that generated his reponse?. He probably should have said I’m unaware of the issue and I will have to find out the facts before I make a comment. That would have been the appropriate comment.


Writing that the teacher “asked” the four students “from his first and second period” to “accompany” him to Pirates Cove which is a “hook up spot for homosexuals” and “drove two of the girls to the beach in his car”. That paragraph is loaded with inuendo.


Brett: Thank you for making the list of your arguments. I just wanted you to be specific in making your allegations. I’ll let Karen speak for herself.


As a parent of five (all grown up) I have to say that the world is a much different place now; you have to watch the adults, the parents of your kids friends sometimes more than their friends, sad but true. I listened in to the broadcast and I thought Karen did a great job, she reported the facts as they were told to her and she openly responded to the callers and their comments. The statement Karen made about how she had given the school and/or its representatives the facts as she had them presented to her was exact; what more could she have done? If the school didn’t reply back differently, then they accepted what was presented before them and no one can complain about the facts of what she said because she gave them the opportunity to respond and they didn’t, she did nothing wrong. People like Karen that get important information out risk being unpopular to state the facts so that all of us are made aware of whats going on in our little corner of the world, we should thank people like this! It doesn’t matter if the teacher got there first, or that they were in a parking lot, or didn’t go down to the beach or that they walked from some hidden trail or whether they were up a tree on a hill; Bottom line: NO ONE has the right to take a minor ANYWHERE without the expressed permission of the minors parents, in advance, period! But, just for the sake of conversation and for additional facts however, what if there had been an earthquake or a vehicular accident? Don’t the parents have a legal right to know where their kids are, they are the ones who are legally responsible for them, they should know if and when their kids leave the school grounds and whether their son or daughter is driving around or being driven somewhere. This teacher should be thinking and planning ahead much more than he is. The parents should know when there is going to be a field trip every single time and in advance. It all makes me wonder about other factors too like: Did this adult ever think about having emergency kits available if and when someone might get hurt on one of his field trips? There are critters outside in the rocks hidden out, seriously. Climbing the side of a hill does have its hazards. My husband coached youth and highschool sports for years and he was required to learn CPR amongst other important things that mattered. During a highschool baseball game as a visitor, it actually happened in Arroyo Grande and one of the boys got cleated and needed some serious stitches; how crazy it was that this young man’s mother is a nurse and he had forgot to get a parent consent for a signed permission for emergency treatment and was mistakenly allowed to play by the assistant coach when he got seriously injured; when he was taken to the local hospital, the doctor had to make emergency arrangements to have this youngster (a minor) made a ward of the court by a Judge in order for him to be legally treated so things do happen unexpectedly without planning ahead. How would you as a parent of your minor child feel if you learned your son or daughter had been seriously injured on a school outing or field trip and that they couldn’t treat your child in a timely manner because they didn’t have the consent to treat? How is it that this teacher also had no thoughts about giving his class (all minors) the right to make the decided decision on where to go without giving them any limits or boundaries? It’s obvious this teacher did not do his homework!


you would have her back. pirates CAVE, is not a NUDE BEACH. second, 20 plus kids? in the cold morning???? c’mon dude really?. youre treating these 17-18 year olds like they dont have brains, like they dont know the difference from an accomplished teacher to a low life sketchy creeper. i mean seriously, nothing happened right? and all the kids have his side…. lets get real here. think about it.


The parents DID sign wavers. There WAS a first aid kit. and your little story is irrelevant.

If the parents didn’t approve of it, they should have read the waver more thorough.