June 25, 2012
During the week of June 4th, I was informed by the Cyber Crimes Unit, located at the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department, that a West Middle School teacher had been accused of possessing child pornography. The teacher was arrested on June 8th and incarcerated in the Lincoln County jail. The teacher, Matt Hansen, has taught seventh grade at West Middle School since 2004 and has also assisted with our Fifth Grade Outdoor Education Program.
Since his arrest, the Cyber Crimes Unit found evidence that Mr. Hansen secretly and inappropriately videotaped some students at the Outdoor Education Program. While I have not personally seen the videotapes, I am told that they show male students in various stages of undress as they readied themselves for evening showers. Students had no knowledge that they were being videotaped. The videotapes are currently in police custody and will remain there. We have no evidence that Mr. Hansen did anything other than videotape students, or that he shared the videotapes with anyone else.
The investigation is on-going to determine which students were involved. Once this is known, parents of the students in question will be contacted. In the meantime if you have any information about any additional wrongdoing involving Mr. Hansen, please contact me and I will forward it to the detectives. The schools in question are Progress South, Lewis and Clark and Dardenne elementary schools. Mr. Hansen did not attend camp with any other schools in our district. He has been placed on administrative leave and will not be allowed on district property. His employment status will be reviewed by the Board of Education at the appropriate time.
Words cannot adequately express how disappointed I am that this has occurred. As we move forward we will be reviewing all camp program procedures to determine if any modifications for the future need to be considered. I am sorry to have to report this unfortunate incident to you. I can assure you we will continue to do everything possible to give your student the best educational experience while attending Fort Zumwalt schools.