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Elementary teacher charged with 40 counts of possession of child pornography

SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Shelby County man is behind bars after being arrested for multiple counts of possession of child pornography.

Calera Elementary teacher, Daniel “Danny” Donaldson, 26, of Wilton, Ala. was arrested earlier Wednesday after Shelby County Investigators executed a search warrant at his home. Donaldson is charged with 40 counts of Possession of Child Pornography, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. 

Donaldson is an employee of the Shelby County Board of Education and has been placed on administrative leave by the school district as the Sheriff’s Office conducts an ongoing investigation into the matter, according to the Shelby County school district.

He is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail on a total bond of $600,000.

“These charges are very serious in that they indicate alarming behavior by this teacher,” Superintendent Randy Fuller stated in a release.

The school system officials first learned of the allegations from the sheriff’s office today and took immediate action to place Donaldson on leave. 

Donaldson has been employed with the Shelby County School District since 2015, where he worked the first two years as a paraprofessional under the guidance of a classroom teacher. He was beginning his second school year as a kindergarten teacher, according to Shelby County Schools. 

District officials said he passed a criminal background check in 2014 and has had no prior incidents of misconduct. 

“We he did pass all background checks and as far as we knew a spotless record in terms of his employee evaluation. There was no indiction this was in his background or on the radar for future,” said Cindy Warner, with Shelby County Schools. 

Parents said they were shocked to find out the news. 

Jerrod Clark has a daughter in Kindergarten at Calera Elementary.

“I’m angry. I;m sick to my stomach. After my wife told me about it, I was just really aggravated and mad,” said Clark.

He said he met Donaldson just recently.

“I met him at teacher night before school started. We had meet the teacher, we had kindergarten camp, they were all there. He didn’t seem like a bad guy, nothing like that. A little odd,” said Clark.

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