By TATUM MAPES
Redlands East Valley High School chemistry teacher Timothy Ridgeway was arrested on a charge of felony arson after setting a bathroom pass and homecoming poster on fire during fourth period on Friday, Sept. 21.
Students from his fourth period class reported that Ridgeway set a small bathroom pass on fire, put it out, then threw what was left away. He then walked towards fellow teacher Robert Tompkins’ room about ten minutes later and lit a poster advertising a homecoming carnival attraction on fire.
According to the police report, the fire was quickly put out by staff members. It damaged one wall, but did not cause any structural damage or harm to students. Ridgeway was then escorted out by school security.
Ridgeway was arrested for arson and booked at the Central Detention Center with a bail set at $250,000.00. Law enforcement officers have yet to identify the motive. Requests for comments from REV’s principal Jennifer Murillo were not immediately returned at the time this article was published.
The Redlands Unified School District’s community outreach, communication, and social media specialist MaryRone Shell told the Redlands Daily Facts that Ridgeway had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The school district issued a press release saying, “This incident had no direct correlation to the instructional program and compromised the safety of our students.”
The district went on to commend the staff and law enforcement present during the incident. “Evidenced by these events, both our local law enforcement and our District have the shared goal and vision to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”