We perish because we know not… #TLENews
Williamston High School teacher Jim Preston faces three charges related to possession of child pornography and has been placed on leave by the school district.
Preston, 45, was arraigned Tuesday on using a computer to commit a crime and two charges of possession of child sexually abusive material, according to online court records. Jail records show he was lodged at the Ingham County Jail as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
At the arraignment, Preston was given a $10,000 cash or surety bond. According to his bond, he is not allowed to come within 500 feet of Williamston High School.
Preston works as a science teacher and is one of the instructors in the high school’sMath and Science Academy, a specialized program within the high school for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
illiamston police Chief Bob Young said school officials discovered inappropriate material on Preston’s school computer on Monday. The district immediately turned the child pornography over to police, Young said.
“We have electronic media that he used at school, we served a search warrant at his residence and we have electronic media that we seized there,” Young said. “This is an ongoing investigation.”
Williamston police investigators are working with the Michigan State Police Internet Crimes Against Children unit to analyze Preston’s devices.
Preston is also not allowed to leave the state of Michigan or have contact with minors without supervision. He is also not allowed to have a computer.
He’s scheduled to have a preliminary exam conference at 8 a.m. on Jan. 29, with a preliminary examination hearing set for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 5
In a statement posted to the district’s website and sent to parent via email, Williamston Community Schools Superintendent Narda Murphy announced Preston is placed on leave.
“Mr. Preston was placed on leave today by Williamston Community Schools prior to his arraignment,” Murphy wrote. “The district is cooperating with law enforcement agencies. The safety and well-being of our students remains the primary focus.”
Counselors are available for students, Murphy said.
Ernie Gaffner, secretary of the Williamston Board of Education, said Preston will not be paid while he is on leave because he cannot be on school property due to his bond.
“It’s a process and that’s all we have at this time,” Gaffner said, declining further comment.
Attorney Stacia Buchanan is representing Preston. A message was left at Buchanan’s office seeking comment on the charges against her client.
By Kyle Feldscher