A teacher in southern California is being investigated over claims he contaminated thousands of children's flutes with his semen.
The unidentified man has been placed under arrest and is being questioned amid a larger sexual misconduct investigation, according to NBC News.
The flutes, which were given to pupils to design through an international program aimed at providing needy schoolchildren with instruments, could have ended up in the hands of students in as many as 13 school districts in the state.
Teacher arrested for allegedly contaminating instruments given to schoolchildren with semen
Numerous school administrators wrote letters to parents explaining that the flutes may have been 'contaminated with bodily fluids'
Letters sent to parents alerting them of the situation describe the teacher as an 'independent contractor,' adding that he led the the 'Flutes Across The World' program for fifth graders between the ages of 10 and 11.
The crimes allegedly occurred over a period of years and as far back as 2012.
Head of the Fountain Valley School District, Superintendent Mark Johnson, wrote in a statement to parents that the flutes may have potentially been 'contaminated with bodily fluids' and urged parents to turn the instruments over to police.
Administrators for the Culver City Unified School District said that children in their schools may have been affected during the 2012-2013 school year.
The California Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Service have launched a statewide investigation
'Based on the information presently available, this individual provided the program to one grade level at one CCUSD elementary school during the 2012-2013 school year,' Interim Superintendent Leslie Lockhart stated.
Parents expressed disgust and outrage over the incident, horrified that their children may have been exposed to such an odious situation.
'It's disgusting, it's unreal, you can't even really fathom it. It makes me sick to my stomach,' one parent told NBC News.
'I think there's something really sick going on here', another Fountain Valley parent said.
The California Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Service have launched a statewide investigation into the matter.
'As part of the investigation, we are working with local law enforcement and school districts to collect instruments, for the California Department of Justice to process,' a spokesman said.
The US Postal service, who were responsible for transporting the flutes, said that 'protecting children from crimes of sexual abuse and exploitation is a priority.'
FULL STATEMENT BY CULVER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT
We were notified late Thursday, September 28, 2017, by the California Department of Justice of an active investigation involving an individual who provided music enrichment at schools in numerous districts throughout Southern California, including Culver City Unified School District.
As part of this program, students may have received a flute made of PVC plastic piping and a single wine cork that they could decorate.
On Friday, September 29, 2017, we further consulted with law enforcement and were advised that these flutes may have been potentially contaminated with bodily fluids.
In an abundance of caution, we contacted the CCUSD families whose children possibly participated in that specific music enrichment program and requested that they remove the flutes and place them in a sealed paper bag for collection as evidence.
Based on the information presently available, this individual provided the program to one grade level at one CCUSD elementary school during the 2012-2013 school year.
We do not believe that any other students in CCUSD were impacted. We will update you further as we receive further communication from local and state law enforcement.
This investigation is in no way related to the district’s Third Grade Recorder Program using recorders purchased from a reputable vendor through the Culver City Education Foundation.
As parents, we share the concern that the affected families must feel as they hear this unsettling news. I appreciate your cooperation in respecting the privacy of the students and families who may be impacted by this investigation.
The health and safety of our students remain our top priority.
Leslie Lockhart, Interim Superintendent