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Parent: Pitt County teacher watched porn on classroom computer

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Apr 15 2013 02:33:35 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 12 2013 07:17:45 PM CDT
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

Officials with Pitt County Schools are not explaining why they suspended a sixth-grade teacher at Hope Middle School on Thursday. But a parent told NewsChannel 12 it’s because her son and other students saw the teacher watching pornography in the classroom.

The mother, who wanted to remain anonymous, explained what her 11-year-old son said to her when he got home from school Thursday afternoon.

“He said that they were in class and Mr. ***** had asked him and another student to go to the board to draw something. I don’t know what. And when they were up at the board writing, the teacher was at his desk and he had his computer up, and the kids could see pornography up on the computer,” the parent said.

She said her son and his friend then went to the principal.

“Mr. Pollard asked them, 'Are you telling the truth?' They said, 'Yes, we're not lying. It's true.' And Mr. Pollard said, 'Okay,’” the parent explained.

Afterwards, the students went to lunch and the principal went to look on the teacher's computer, the parent said. A short time later, the principal told the teacher to leave the school.

"He came and got Mr. ***** out of the lunchroom and told him, 'You're out of here. Get your stuff and go.' And he left with his books and his personal stuff,” the mother said.

According to her, no parents were ever notified by the school that this incident happened, or that the teacher was suspended.

"There was no action taken and my son is 11 years old. He's never been exposed to pornography. Not in this house or anywhere, so I had to explain to him what he had seen on that computer because it was very graphic, which was very uncomfortable," the mother told NewsChannel 12. "I just felt like the school should have been proactive with the parent's because this is a big deal."

Officials with Pitt County Schools confirmed that the teacher in question was suspended with pay on Thursday. He has worked at Hope Middle School since August, 2003.

NewsChannel 12 asked Marsha McLawhorn, the spokeswoman of Pitt County Schools, about the pornography allegations against the teacher.

“We can’t speak to the allegations because it’s a personnel issue," McLawhorn said.

NewsChannel 12 also went to the teacher's home to get his side of the story, but he didn't come to the door.

The parent who NewsChannel 12 interviewed was told on Friday that a substitute teacher would be filling in for the rest of the school year. She was also told that counselors were on hand to speak with students.

NewsChannel 12 has decided not to release the teacher's name until school officials finish their internal investigation.