Students caught Atascadero teacher filming under their skirts

November 15, 2018

Chris Berdoll

An Atascadero sixth-grade teacher charged with making child porn would position female students around his classroom in locations that enabled him to use electronic devices to record their crotches and backsides, according to a report prepared by a law firm hired by the school district. [Tribune]

The report also alleges Chris Berdoll, 48, recorded the girls in plain sight and was spotted doing so by students on multiple occasions. In some instances, the teacher also rubbed up against the girls or their clothing as he was clandestinely filming them.

Berdoll, who was arrested in September, is charged with 44 felony counts related to the production and possession of child pornography. Investigators have identified a total of at least 20 victims in the case who range in age from 9 to 15 years old.

Prior to his arrest, Berdoll was a sixth-grade math teacher at Atascadero Fine Arts Academy. Following his arrest, he was placed on administrative leave, and he resigned in October.

The Atascadero Unified School District hired Fresno law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya Ruud & Romo to conduct an independent investigation into the case.

Earlier this month, the law firm submitted a report detailing at least seven instances in which Berdoll allegedly used his smartphone or tablet to record the legs, crotches and backsides of female students in his sixth-grade classes. The incidents described in the report occurred in August during the first two weeks of the current school year.

During the week of Aug. 20, 2018, Berdoll asked a female student to help set up for a science lesson in the classroom during a break, according to the report. Two other students then joined and took part in the preparations.

While the female student used a chair to climb on a countertop to post photos, Berdoll allegedly approached the girl from behind and recorded her backside. The girl turned around and saw Berdoll allegedly pull the phone or tablet to his chest, as if he knew he had been caught.

Berdoll then sat in a chair and pointed the camera lens on his device toward the backsides of two of the students as they were drawing. The students turned around and noticed Berdoll doing so.

On Aug. 24, Berdoll allegedly placed his phone or tablet under a student’s dress with the camera lens facing up. At the time, Berdoll was sitting in his rolling desk chair helping the student in the dress and other students.

On Aug. 28, a student dropped a pencil and bent down to retrieve it. While bending down, the student noticed Berdoll was holding his smartphone on his knee or thigh area and pointing it toward a girl who was wearing a dress.

During the first couple weeks of this school year, Berdoll allegedly told this girl to move away from her spot at the end of her desk. That allegedly allowed Berdoll to position his smartphone so he could point the lens toward the legs and crotches of three other students.

In the final incident described in the report, one witness reportedly saw Berdoll’s smartphone screen showing a student’s spread legs and crotch and noticed numbers on the device indicating it was recording. This incident reportedly occurred on Aug. 29, the day before school district officials reported Berdoll to the Atascadero Police Department.

While the report only document incidents that occurred this August, prosecutors allege Berdoll’s recording of female students dates back to Feb. 2017.

After officials reported the allegations against Berdoll, the teacher spent 19 days on administrative leave. During that span, he received $7,034 in pay, or $389 a day.

Berdoll is currently out of custody on $500,000 bail. He is due back in court on Jan. 8.

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Times sure have changed. I remember signing petitions to get rid of a creepy, perverted teacher when I went to Flamson Middle School. There was a petition every year, with new legit concerns, about the same teacher, every year. If you went in to complain about him, you were told to drop it, or if you were one of the ones turning in the petition you got suspended. Teacher would put girls that wore skirts/dresses in the front row, and would “accidentally” drop a book, and bend down so he could get a clear view up the skirt. I guess the only difference is that this teacher took pictures and recordings, and wasn’t as discrete as he thought he was. Since back in the day he would have had to use a bulky video camera or a polaroid to get his kicks.

Why did the district spend probably thousand and thousand of dollars when they have the Atascadero Police Department and the DA’s office whose responsibility it is to investigate these crimes and prosecute them? It’s obviouis that they did their job because this individual was charged with the crimes. Need to have an answer on this one.