Federal officials said Friday that they arrested a Florida teacher on allegations of distributing child pornography.
Jordan Frederic Schemmel, 37, is a teacher at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, authorities said.
>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Read the entire criminal complaint against Jordan Schemmel (WARNING: Graphic content.)
Duval County Public Schools confirmed the arrest and said Schemmel will not teach until the case is resolved.
"Should he be released from custody, he will be immediately removed from the classroom and not have further contact with students pending the outcome of an internal investigation," a voicemail sent to parents said.
According to a biography on the Duval County Public Schools site, Schemmel previously worked as a teacher at Ponte Vedra High in St. Johns County and Ed White High in Jacksonville.
Schemmel faces up to 20 years in federal prison. He is scheduled for a hearing on Oct. 25.
According to a the criminal complaint, an individual using the screen name “JS” and the user name “Profsunrise15” responded to a message in September on an internet bulletin board frequented by individuals with a sexual interest in children.
This message had been posted by an undercover FBI agent.
The user under the name “Profsunrise15” sent the agent a video depicting a prepubescent child being sexually assaulted by an adult male, and later sent a photo depicting similar criminal conduct with a child, authorities said.
Authorities said the IP address used by Profsunrise15 was traced back to Schemmel’s residence in Jacksonville.
A Georgia teacher accused of sexually abusing a DeKalb County middle-school student was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Zachary Meadors, 28, of Lawrenceville, was found dead in a vehicle in the 1200 block of Scenic Highway around 5:15 p.m., Gwinnett County police said in a news release.
He was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a sixth-grade male student at Freedom Middle School, according to an arrest warrant by DeKalb County police. He faced charges of child molestation, computer pornography and child exploitation, WSB-TV reported.
He was a sixth-grade English teacher at the school in Stone Mountain, and he had worked there for two years, WSB-TV reported. He was placed on unpaid administrative leave on Friday.
His parents filed a missing persons report Monday with police after Meadors left letters and an iPad at his parents’ front door. He was last seen Saturday.
The missing persons report said Meadors apologized for his relationship with the student and asked his parents to divide his money among family members, WSB-TV reported.
A crossing guard outside a California elementary school was hit by an SUV on Friday morning, moments after pushing a woman to safety, KTLA reported.
Bob Belanger, 57, was helping a woman cross the street outside Madera Elementary School in Simi Valley around 7:30 a.m. Friday, the television station reported.
Witnesses said that when Belanger saw the SUV approaching, he pushed the woman out of the way before he was hit by the vehicle, KTLA reported.
Belanger suffered “significant" injuries and was taken to a hospital, Simi Valley police Sgt. Steve Shorts told KABC.
"The driver did stop, so this is not a hit-and-run investigation, and the officers were able to determine after further follow-up that it does not appear that he was impaired at the time of collision," Shorts told KTLA.
The woman who was pushed out of the way was not injured.
A GoFundMe account was started to help defray Belanger’s hospital expenses. Nearly $6,000 has been raised.
A school resource officer at a Texas elementary school mistakenly drew his gun on two high school theater students pretending to act out a hostage situation during an active shooter drill, KTRK reported.
The officer on the Clark Elementary School campus in Baytown briefly pointed his weapon at the theater students, who were acting as a gunman and hostage during the Wednesday drill, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District spokeswoman Beth Dombrowa said the officer lowered his weapon "almost immediately" when he realized it was a drill, the newspaper reported.
No one was hurt, KPRC reported.
Dombrowa said the officer did not know there was a drill taking place.
"He's a police officer," she told the Chronicle. "He did what he was supposed to do."
The officer heard through the school's intercom system that the campus was being placed on lockdown, KPRC reported.
Dombrowa said the hostage-taking student was carrying a blue wooden handgun, but the officer couldn't see the fake gun at the time, she said.
"You have to commend the officer,” Dombrowa told KTRK. “He responded to what he thought was an active scene and realized almost immediately it was a drill.”
The two high school students acted out their parts in the school’s hallway as elementary school students locked themselves in their rooms, Dombrowa told the Chronicle.
Dombrowa told the newspaper that the district got permission from the student actors' parents before the drill and posted notices of the simulation on its website and sent letters home to parents.
"I suspect there will be some changes that come out of this," she said, later adding, "We learn something every time we do a drill, and that's the purpose for doing them."
Christine Blasey Ford, the California professor who testified before a Senate panel about sexual assault allegations during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings, was nominated for a Distinguished Alumna Award at the University of North Carolina, the News & Observer reported.
Ford graduated from UNC in 1988 with a degree in experimental psychology. She earned a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University (1991) and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Southern California (1996).
Ford was nominated by a group of faculty, students and alumni at North Carolina, WTVD reported.
Jennifer Ho, a professor of English at North Carolina, wrote in her nominating letter that Ford’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 27 “was something that was extraordinary in how ordinary it was: she told the truth about a sexual assault she experienced when she was 15 years old at the hands of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.”
Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as the newest Supreme Court justice on Saturday, has denied the allegations.
The nominating letter also recognized “the inordinate courage it took for her to take the moral and ethical stand that she did in testifying about her sexual assault experience in front of the world."
According to the university’s web page, alumni must be nominated by Oct. 15 and must have made “an outstanding contribution to humanity in any walk of life,” The Washington Times reported.
A Florida school board member is under fire Tuesday night for some posts she made on Facebook, which she said she stands by.
Marion County School Board member Nancy Stacy's Facebook comments include: “I do not consider a whore to be a victim in rapes" and, “If the girls went with a married man to forbidden grounds, they went looking for trouble."
People are speaking out about the posts, some of them showing up to voice their concerns at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
Stacy is defending the posts and told WFTV’s Myrt Price that this is all politically motivated.
"I was very shocked and disappointed,” said Kelly Rogers, who lives in Marion County.
In one post, Stacy wrote, “All you know what comes in my head is out my mouth. Tired of whores destroying men. Set Bill Cosby free says 'Mama Bear' with sons.”
The comments have driven some Marion County residents to attend Tuesday’s school board meeting.
"I would hope that she would be removed, at least either step down, be removed from the board or retire or whatever,” said Michael Ferro at the meeting.
Price spoke to Stacy over the phone. She confirmed that she made the posts and wasn’t hacked.
"I feel that our nation has regressed back to the days when one white person accused a black person of something and he was hung or jailed. Today, one woman can accuse a man of all ethnicities and he can be jailed,” she said.
She claimed she wasn’t talking about women in general, only prostitutes.
"I do not believe prostitutes can claim rape and have me believe them,” Stacy said.
She said she believes she’s the target of politically motivated attacks.
An online petition is being circulated, pushing for the governor to remove Stacy from office.
Anti-Semitic posters calling Jewish people “anti-American” surfaced in several lecture halls at a California university and was confirmed by administration officials, the Sacramento Bee reported.
The flyers, distributed at the University of California, Davis, blame Jewish people for all “anti-white, anti-American, anti-freedom” incidents. They display several figures, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California professor Christine Blasey Ford, attorney Michael Avenatti and billionaire George Soros with Stars of David on their foreheads, the Jewish Journal reported. The bottom of the flyers show newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, depicted normally, the Bee reported.
In a Facebook post, Associated Students UC Davis President Michael Gofman condemned the flyers as “a disgusting anti-Semitic attack.”
“If any Jewish students are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable on campus today, please reach out and I will connect you with the proper resources,” Gofman wrote.
The bottom of the flyer attributes it to the local Stormer Book Club, small organizations that support The Daily Stormer, which is a neo-Nazi website, the Jewish Journal reported.
University Chancellor Gary S. May said in a statement that the flyers’ message was “reprehensible” and against the school’s posting policies.
“To all of our students, faculty and staff, please know I won’t stand for intolerance of any kind,” May wrote.
A transgender middle school student in Virginia was left sitting alone in the gym during an active shooter drill because teachers were unsure of which locker room to shelter her in, an LGBTQ advocacy group said earlier this month.
A group of concerned parents, friends and neighbors plan to protest at the Stafford County School Board meeting Tuesday night, WUSA in Washington, D.C., reported.
Equality Stafford members spoke out about the issue on the group’s Facebook page last week.
“When the drill began, a particular class of children took shelter in the bathroom/locker room nearest them as they were in PE,” the post read. “One student was prevented from entering either the boys’ or girls’ locker room while the teachers discussed where she should go. The student was forced to watch the adults charged with her care, debate the safest place (for the other students) to have her shelter.”
The girl was told to sit in the gym with a teacher until the drill was over, the post read. After further debate by the teachers, the girl was told to sit in the locker room hallway, away from her classmates.
“Let me be clear,” the Facebook post read. “During an event that prepares children to survive an attack by actual assailants, she was treated as if she was so much of a danger to peers that she was left exposed and vulnerable.”
Sherrie Johnson, a spokeswoman for Stafford County Public Schools, told WUSA in a statement that the district’s new superintendent, Scott Kizner, has requested a review of all protocols and procedures “to ensure that all children are treated with dignity and respect.”
“We take such matters very seriously and they will be addressed,” Johnson said. “The welfare of all students is of the utmost importance for SCPS.”
When a reporter for the news station asked Johnson if the student should have been allowed in the girls’ locker room because she identifies as female, Johnson would only say that policies and procedures are under review.
Commenters on the Equality Stafford page were aghast at the teachers’ actions.
“So, if this had been an actual emergency, would they have let this child die while they tried to identify for this child which locker room would save this child’s life?” one woman wrote.
Others questioned why the children were being separated during the mock emergency. A woman who identified herself as a pediatrician called the issue one of “human dignity on all fronts.”
Another woman who appeared to be an elementary school or preschool teacher wrote that the teachers should be reprimanded.
“The goal is how fast you move, not if you are in the right space,” she wrote. “I had to evacuate 4-year-olds during a tornado and we all went into the women’s bathroom. These kids should have been placed into the closest room, no debate needed. A murderer doesn't care (about) your gender, adopted or born with.”
The Equality Stafford member who wrote the original post wrote that it was “important to highlight that the child’s PE teachers are not the bad guys.”
“They are teachers without guidance in a county without guidance for these issues,” the post read. “They were following that they were told to do.”
One commenter pointed out that schools hold drills to figure out the logistics of keeping the children safe before an actual emergency. He called the criticism of the teachers short-sighted and said that, as the issue of transgender students becomes more common in the schools, incidents like the one at the middle school will become less frequent.
“In a brand-new situation, people stopped and talked about the best solution, so this problem only has to happen once,” the man wrote. “I say bravo to those who took action.”
Heavy rains in the Kansas City area caused a school bus with more than 20 students to become trapped in floodwaters early Monday, KMBC reported.
The bus was traveling shortly before 7 a.m. when it became trapped. A caller to 911 said water had seeped into the vehicle and had risen to the third step, WDAF reported. The water rising above the bus steps caused the vehicle to stall out, KMBC reported.
Police and firefighters responded and were able to evacuate the students and driver through the back door of the bus. No one was injured, the television station reported, although the occupants got wet while walking to dry ground, WDAF reported.
More than 3 inches of rain fell in Kansas City on Monday morning, KMBC reported.
The nationwide EpiPen shortage is now forcing some children to stay home from school until their medication can be filled, KIRO-TV in Seattle is reporting.
Chiquita Morris said her 5-year-old son, Eden, had just started kindergarten at Spanaway Elementary School in Spanaway, Washington, when she was told by school officials that Eden couldn’t come back until he has an EpiPen.
“Yes, I understand I need to get one, but there’s nothing I can do,” Morris said.
During a nationwide EpiPen shortage, Morris is among those scrambling to find these epinephrine auto-injectors used to treat severe allergic reactions.
Morris said she's been calling multiple pharmacies every day but has had no luck while her son is missing school.
KIRO looked up the Bethel School District website, and under the health services page, it said: "State law requires children with life-threatening conditions to have a medication and/or treatment order on file prior to the start of school."
Morris said in light of the EpiPen shortage, the school can do more to accommodate parents and help kids stay in school.
“I understand the health concern but I believe the school should have backup EpiPen as well, and not just parents,” said Morris.
The EpiPen shortage is so bad that in August, the FDA extended the expiration date for some lots of EpiPens by four months.
But the extension does not apply for EpiPen Junior, which is meant for kids weighing 66 pounds or less.
Doctors are advising people who need EpiPens to renew their prescriptions early or get on a waiting list as soon as possible.
Take www.wape.com everywhere you go! Download your app below from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store:
Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!