Tenn. teacher accused of secretly videoing 40 students as they changed clothes
Andy Cordan, WKRN – NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro Nashville Public Schools teacher is accused of secretly recording at least 40 elementary students as they changed clothes in a closet at Napier Elementary School in South Nashville.
According to Metro police, a two-week investigation into Jarrett Jones, 30, began after he asked a colleague at Antioch High School to help him with a computer problem.
When the colleague saw the questionable items on the computer, the colleague notified authorities..
"We train our staff to report out if they see anything suspicious to let authorities know. In this case at Antioch High School, we had a staff member who did that," said Shawn Joseph, Director of Schools.
Police say the secretly-recorded videos were taken while Jones was a music teacher at Napier Elementary between 2011 to 2015.
After placing a hidden video recording device, Jones is accused of instructing young girls to change clothes in the music room's closet before school plays or choir performances, officials said.
While searching the 30-year-old's home, several pieces of digital equipment, including an external hard drive, were seized. On the hard drive, detectives said there were more than 50 videos in a folder titled "Napier."
Police said after analyzing the videos, detectives identified the majority of the 40 girls who were secretly recorded at the Nashville elementary school.
There were also more than 1,000 sexually explicit images of minors that appear to have been downloaded from an external source unrelated to Napier Elementary on the hard drive, according to police.
Jones was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 9 when the investigation began. He was taken into custody Monday at his Antioch home.
He faces charges of two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of minors and three counts of sexual exploitation of minors. He is being held in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
Metro police say additional charges are anticipated.
Metro Nashville Public Schools responds
A statement from the school district Monday said after reviewing the police report, school officials will recommend to Director Joseph that Jones be dismissed from his position.
"The teacher has had no contact with students since being placed on leave," the statement said, in part.
"We are devastated by the news of this investigation and are doing everything we can do help Metro police and the District Attorney, the statement continued.
"Obviously this is a very difficult and sensitive situation and we will respect our students' and families' right to privacy as police and the DA pursue this matter." Click here to read the full statement.
Mom of child once in Jones' music class reacts to arrest
Yolanda Fleming came to Napier Elementary moments after she received a news article about her daughter's former music teacher.
"I'm like, ‘That's him.' I knew it. I knew something was wrong with him," the mother told News 2.
She explained she had a strange encounter with Jones three years ago when her daughter was kindergartner at Napier.
"[My daughter] told me, ‘Well Mr. Jones the music teacher made me sit on his lap,'" Fleming recalled, adding, "My daughter should not sit on any man's lap. I mean, I was furious."
Fleming said she went to the principal, but nothing happened.
"I'm not shocked by him doing this because I felt uncomfortable with him from then on after that," she explained.
Fleming told News 2 her daughter had roles in some of the those plays Jones was part of.
"They would always have us bring what they're going to wear and yes, they'd always go into the closet and change," she said.
Parents like Fleming are left reeling after the disturbing news.
"I need to talk to someone to see what I need to do to make sure if she's in those videos, those tapes," she said. "You don't know if this stuff is on the Internet or what. This is my child. This is my everything and I'm very uncomfortable."
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