School security guard taken into custody over pornography - WNEM TV 5

School security guard taken into custody over pornography

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GRAND BLANC, MI (WNEM) -

A local school district says a security guard has been taken into custody over pornography.

Grand Blanc Superintendent Dr. Norm Abdella posted a message Friday on the district's website explaining the incident.

Abdella says a thumb drive was discovered on the campus of the East High School containing adult and child pornography.

Police believe that thumb drive belonged to a second shift security guard who may have left it there over the winter break.

The superintendent says parents were not notified right away because they did not believe it directly involved students or teachers and they did not want to alert the suspect.

Below is the superintendent's full letter to parents which sheds more light on the incident:

Dear Parents, Students, and Concerned Citizens,

Last Thursday when everyone returned to school after the long winter recess, a thumb drive was discovered on one of the East High School office computers by a school security guard. Since the thumb drive was unfamiliar to the guard, she opened it and discovered that it contained both adult and child pornography from the Internet. None of the pornography related to any Grand Blanc students or staff members. She immediately informed her supervisor who gave the thumb drive to a high school administrator and the School Resource Officer. The SRO, Detective Bryan Byarski, began an immediate investigation.

District technology personnel pulled the computer from the building and attempted to identify the person or persons that had logged on to the computer. Unfortunately, the computer had been wiped clean of any history, presumably by the owner of the thumb drive. Compounding the difficulty in identifying a suspect was the fact that no security cameras are currently located in the vicinity of the computer in question and since school was not in session, access to the computer in question was not monitored. The thumb drive was then given to Detective Steven Hatfield of the Grand Blanc City Police. Detective Hatfield is trained in computer forensics and it was hoped that he could somehow produce a suspect. Although it took several days, I am happy to report that an arrest was made today and a suspect, a contracted second-shift security guard, is now in custody.

Parents, students, and concerned citizens were not notified of the thumb drive discovery immediately because there were no reports of any inappropriate advances toward our students prior to the discovery, the pornographic materials did not involve our students, and we did not want to interfere with the covert police investigation. Further, we did not want to go public and thus allow the alleged perpetrator time to destroy or erase additional evidence, say on a home computer or cell phone.

I am extremely grateful to the individual, who first discovered the thumb drive, for doing the right thing and reporting it immediately to her supervisor. I must also enthusiastically thank and congratulate Detectives Byarski and Hatfield of the Grand Blanc City Police for their dogged determination in this case and for their ability to make an arrest following an intensive investigation. The district offices will be closed until Tuesday for Dr. King's birthday, so if you have questions regarding this matter, please feel free to email me at nabdella@grandblancschools.org, Detective Byarski at bbyarski@grandblancschools.org, or Detective Hatfield at Shatfield@cityofgrandblanc.com.

We will answer any questions that will not jeopardize the upcoming court case. Sincerely,

Norman M. Abdella, Ed.D., Superintendent

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