Source: Substitute teacher facing criminal investigation

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – A substitute teacher in the Rockwood School District is hospitalized Thursday after being confronted by police regarding a criminal investigation, Fox 2 has learned.

According to Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Eric Knost, Missouri Highway Patrol investigators contacted him Wednesday, saying they needed to detain a substitute teacher at Green Pines Elementary during school hours.

Authorities asked the substitute teacher to walk outside and talk with them. The teacher, identified only as a male, grabbed an object and tried to harm himself. He was taken into custody and placed on a 96-hour medical watch.

He was not placed under arrest at that time.

Why did investigators need to chat with him?  Details are vague.  The digital computer forensics unit, which handles child pornography cases, is leading the investigation.  A source told Fox 2 that a school was not the proper place for this man.  In short: a parent’s worst nightmare.

Dr. Knost said district officials are not privy to details of the investigation, but the situation concerns him.

”My number one job is to protect our children and our staff. I take that very seriously. At the end of the day, I have to feel good about the job I do here. I don’t take chances with our children,” Knost said. ”We’ve been told that this has nothing to do with his employment in our school.”

On Wednesday evening, Knost sent a letter to all parents, district-wide, since the substitute taught in multiple buildings.  He’s banned from district property while the investigation is underway.  Knost said all school district employees, including substitute teachers, undergo criminal background checks before they’re hired.

The teacher’s name will not be released until a full investigation is completed.