Bellingham Teacher Arrested for Allegedly Recording Student in Faculty Bathroom

A teacher in Bellingham, Massachusetts has been arrested two weeks after he was placed on leave for allegedly recording a student in a faculty bathroom, according to police.

Scott McDonald, 38, is charged with photographing the sexual or intimate parts of a child and posing or exhibiting a child in a sexual act. He was released on $1,000 bail and is expected to appear in court on Monday.

Bellingham School Superintendent Peter Marano said last week that the teacher was placed on administrative leave on Nov. 9 as soon as the school district received the complaint. He sent a note to parents Wednesday after McDonald's arrest.

"As an educator and a parent I am absolutely appalled anytime a teacher violates the awesome trust and responsibility given to teachers by the parents of the children placed in our care on a daily basis," Marano wrote. "We will not tolerate any behavior by any member of the staff or faculty of our school district that violates that trust."

Marano asked anyone with any information to contact Bellingham Police at 508-966-1515.

"It appeared it was set up being disguised behind something," Bellingham Police Lt. Kevin Ranieri said of the alleged recording last week. "A lot of people are surprised when they heard of it. He's been there a long time and he's well-liked by many."

Authorities said a 14-year-old male student at Bellingham Memorial Middle School was in a faculty bathroom on Nov. 9 when that student noticed a cell phone on top of a locker that looked out of place. The bathroom is described as a coach's bathroom in a locker room area.

"Somehow he was able to see this and it didn't look right to him, it was behind like a box in there and he saw it and he couldn’t figure out why it was up there and sure enough it was a phone," Ranieri said.

After the student reported it to the school resource officer, McDonald's cell phone was confiscated.

The school district said it is conducting its own investigation.

"This individual was immediately removed from the classroom when the district learned of the alleged conduct and we immediately contacted the police. We continue to remain committed to our efforts to ensure a safe learning environment for all students. Student safety is our highest priority," Marano said in a statement last week.

The conditions of McDonald's release say that he is to have no contact with anyone under 18 or any potential witnesses, cannot possess any device with a camera or use the internet and that he must remain with his parents while out on bail.

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