Friday, September 27, 2019
My colleagues and I are devastated that it’s necessary to be emailing you tonight about the shocking and disgusting allegations made against a former substitute teacher at our school. As you probably know, Matthew Thomas was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday on child pornography charges.
You deserve a full explanation as to the events surrounding these horrible crimes.
Last week, FBI agents contacted school administrators and asked for our help in a child pornography investigation. They shared very few details with us but did tell us that Mr. Thomas was the suspect and that some of the victims may have been our students.
Our obvious reaction upon learning this information was to immediately fire Mr. Thomas, to ensure that he had no contact with our students and to notify parents.
However, the FBI agents told us that they didn’t have enough evidence to arrest him and warned us that doing anything to tip him off might allow him to destroy evidence and escape prosecution.
Very reluctantly, we agreed to the FBI’s request to stay silent for a few days as they continued their investigation.
We did, however, take immediate steps to monitor Mr. Thomas’ classroom at all times utilizing multiple staff members so that he was never alone with students.
The FBI never told us when they were going to arrest Mr. Thomas. We learned of his arrest on Wednesday night. We then fired Mr. Thomas immediately and sent a short statement to parents.
Words cannot express the depth of anger and betrayal all of us here feel. We love and care for your children as if they were our own and it breaks our hearts that someone we all trusted appears to have betrayed us and done something so horrible. I’m truly sorry that this has happened.
Our foremost responsibility and goal is to keep your children safe. Every day, we do so many things to safeguard students. Since we learned of this incident, we’re reviewing our operations and will seek new safeguards moving forward.
We’ve offered free counseling by trained professionals to every student and parent who requests it. If you or your child would like to speak with a professional, please get in contact with the school so we can help.
This process has been the most challenging time of my career as an educator. I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is for you and your children.
We’ll continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement to ensure that justice is done and that any crimes committed against our students are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
More importantly, we will continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of our students.
Thank you for reading this. God bless you and your family.
Dr. Jim Colman