Child Pornography in School – Private School Reveals Teacher’s Collection After 10 Years
Minnesota Public Radio reporter Madeleine Baran released this story today on whether private boarding school Shattuck-St. Mary’s should have told police about an accused teacher’s child
pornography in 2003.
Child pornography is increasingly being produced in schools with the resulting child pornography collection being stored on school-owned computers and servers. Teachers, administrators, coaches and volunteers have all been implicated in school-based child pornography in recent years.
The Marsh Law Firm has been involved with several of these cases involving child pornography in schools and other educational settings.
I am quoted extensively in this report on Minnesota Public Radio:
[School head] Stoneman was confronted with a problem. There was child pornography on teacher Lynn Seibel’s computer. The discovery couldn’t have been a surprise to everyone at Shattuck-St Mary’s. School officials had overlooked red flags about Seibel’s behavior, according to documents and interviews.
The discovery of child pornography in July of 2003 was serious. The school now had evidence that a teacher may have broken the law. Moreover, school officials suddenly were aware of what legal experts and law enforcement consider evidence of child sexual abuse.
Stoneman, though, did not contact police. The school said it consulted its lawyers and decided that the child pornography on Seibel’s computer ”did not trigger a reporting requirement.” In addition, the school said it investigated and considered Seibel’s claim that the pictures were popping up beyond his control.
By not telling police the school likely avoided a firestorm. An investigation may have angered donors and frightened parents. It also may have led to questions from police about whether Seibel was sexually abusing students.
Seibel was quietly forced out on August 7, 2003. The child pornography found on Seibel’s computer would remain a secret for nearly a decade.
James Marsh, an attorney in New York who represents victims of child pornography in federal court said the school should have reported the images.
“Tucking it away for 10 years…prevented law enforcement from investigating crimes that may have taken place by Mr. Seibel no matter where he was in the last 20, 30 years.”
Read and listen to the complete report—Should Shattuck-St. Mary’s have told police about accused teacher’s child pornography in 2003?—here.