Last Updated on July 14, 2022
A Virginia high school choir teacher was arrested this week after the mother of a 16-year-old male student reported to police that he was grooming her son and had provided the boy with a cell phone and private rides home. When an investigation was launched by local authorities, the teacher not only admitted to giving the boy a phone, but to doing so in an attempt to solicit nude photographs from him.
47-year-old Culpeper County High School choir teacher, Craig Alexander Smith was arrested in the grooming case on Tuesday and charged with using a communication system to facilitate offenses involving children, according to a public release made by the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office.
“The mother of a 16-year-old male reported that a Culpeper County High School teacher was possibly grooming her son for sexual activity and had provided him a cell phone along with providing her son rides home from work,” the Sheriff’s statement, which has been posted to Facebook, reads before announcing that deputies opened an investigation after receiving the report.
“Mr. Smith cooperated in discussing the allegations with deputies and admitted to providing the cellular phone and requesting nude photographs of the juvenile,” the release goes on to say.
Though school is currently out for the summer, the Sheriff’s Office says that Smith has been working in the district’s summer school program, after having only recently been appointed as Culpeper County High School’s choir teacher, earlier this year.
He was committed to the Culpeper County jail on a $2,000 secured bond, says the Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to his work with Culpeper County Public Schools, Smith is reportedly the worship music leader at a local church and is involved with several regional plays and productions, seemingly providing him with abundant access to children. Since his arrest, his photograph has been removed from the church’s website, the local report states.
In a reported statement to the local newspaper, Culpeper County Public Schools stated that Smith is no longer employed by the district, effective Wednesday, “due to the nature of the charges” he is facing. In social media comment sections, local parents have blasted the school district for failing to inform the families of students that Smith had been arrested and charged with a pedophilia-related offense linked to his teaching job before the story hit the news.
Craig Alexander Smith is only the latest Virginia school teacher to be arrested and charged with sex offenses involving his underaged students or other children, in what has become a seemingly endemic issue within public education around the country.
In Northern Virginia’s Loudoun County, district officials and school board members have been exposed for covering up the sex assaults of students and employees alike, and the district has been so embroiled in rape and misconduct scandals that a Special Grand Jury investigation has been ordered. Recently, a Loudoun County teacher filed suit against the district, alleging that they failed to protect her from sexual harassment and assault at school. In the 2021-2022 academic year alone, multiple Loudoun County teachers were arrested for pedophilia involving students.
In Fairfax County, a female middle school teacher was arrested on child pornography charges just last month, after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip that she was peddling child porn on Snapchat.