A 5th grade teacher employed with the city of Cambridge appeared in court on Thursday on child pornography charges.
Josh Wairi, 27, of Somerville was arrested after an investigation revealed pictures and videos on his home computer. He has been charged with transporting child pornography.
A Cambridge school official called the charges deeply disturbing. He added that Wairi has been placed on administrative leave.
"We're shocked and distressed when something of this nature occurs," said Superintendent Jeffrey Young. "Families put tremendous trust in sending their children to school every day...When we find that someone in whom we've placed our trust has violated that trust...there is a devastating impact."
According to the U.S. Attorney, he told police that he secretly videotaped children changing their clothes and that he had hundreds of videos containing child pornography.
The official documents do not specify if the hidden cameras were anywhere in schools. An official said there is no reason to believe anything happened inside the school.
At the school, parents were surprised and disgusted by the charges.
"Child pornography, there's nothing worse than it," said one parent.
"My daughter really likes him, she says he's very funny and he cares for every single student,” said another parent.
The investigation began when AOL reported possible cases of child pornography on a user's website. Federal authorities were able to trace the IP address to Wairi's apartment.
Wairi appeared before a judge in South Boston for an initial appearance. His brothers went for support.
“We're all sad about what happened. He is our brother. We stand by him as our brother but what happened is disgusting," said one of Wairi’s brothers.
Wairi did not enter a plea. He will be back in court next week.
Cambridge Schools will schedule public meetings to address the charges. The first one will be held the week of April 28.
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