NASHVILLE - A Metro Nashville Public Schools teacher was arrested Monday on child porn charges after authorities say he secretly recorded more than 40 elementary students undressing over the course of more than four years.
Jarrett Jones, who currently teaches music at Antioch High School, was taken into custody without incident at his Antioch home on two counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of minors and three counts of sexual exploitation of minors, Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said.
A two-week investigation by police led to the arrest of Jones, 30. Police say he secretly recorded elementary-age school girls as they changed clothes at Napier Elementary School, where he taught from 2011-2015.
Jones began this school year as the assistant band director at Antioch High School, and an investigation began after Jones asked an Antioch High School colleague to help him with a computer problem, Aaron said
That colleague, police say, saw questionable items on the computer and alerted authorities.
Police say Jones instructed young girls participating in school plays or choir performances to change clothes in the music room’s closet, where he placed a hidden video recording device.
When detectives executed a search warrant at Jones’ home they found several pieces of digital equipment, including an external hard drive, Aaron said. An examination of that hard drive revealed more than 50 videos in a folder entitled “Napier.”
Police say there appear to be at least 40 different girls in the videos.
Also on the hard drive were more than 1,000 sexually explicit images of minors that appear to have been downloaded from an external source unrelated to Napier Elementary.
After analyzing the videos, detectives have identified the majority of the children who were secretly recorded at the elementary school.
Aaron said forensic interviewers and clinical therapists arranged through the Nashville Children’s Alliance visited 12 schools Monday and talked with a number of the students.
Metro schools spokesman Joe Bass said Jones was placed on administrative leave Sept. 9 after the investigation began.
"We are devastated by the news of this investigation and are doing everything we can to help Metro Police and the District Attorney," Bass said. "We are also working with the District Attorney’s office as well as the Nashville Children's Alliance to communicate with and counsel the affected families, and we expect it to be an ongoing process. Because of today’s events, the building principal (Watechia Lawless) and her executive leadership, will be recommending dismissal to (the Metro schools superintendent)."
Jones has not had contact with students since he was placed on leave, Bass said.
On Monday, Jones was being held on $100,000 bond at the Metro jail and Aaron said additional charges are anticipated.
According to Antioch High School's online band page, Jones is a native to the Antioch community and graduated from Antioch High School in 2004.
It goes onto state Jones began working with the Antioch High School Band in 2005 and oversees all aspects of the percussion program at Antioch High School.
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