A 23-year-old student teacher at two schools in the Appoquinimink School District is facing multiple counts of dealing in child pornography following a raid at his Newark home on Thursday.
Bradford L. Holstein Jr. has been serving as a student teacher at Alfred G. Waters Middle School and Old State Elementary School while completing his bachelor's degree in elementary education at the University of Delaware.
However, Jason Miller, a spokesman for the Delaware Attorney General's Office, said there is no indication at this time that any students were victimized by Holstein.
"He is not charged with producing child pornography," Miller said. "But he is accused of distributing it electronically."
An undercover online investigation by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force led police to raid Holstein's home in the 100 block of Wren Way in Newark's Middle Run Crossing neighborhood on Thursday.
Police later recovered multiple video files depicting child pornography among four computers and numerous digital storage devices that were seized during the raid, Miller said.
Holstein is charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography.
He is currently being held at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna on an $875,000 secured bail.
An investigation is ongoing, Miller said.
Holstein served as a student teacher in a first-grade classroom at Old State Elementary School last spring, followed by an eight-week assignment in an eighth-grade classroom at Waters Middle School that concluded earlier this month, according to school district officials.
"We're shocked and dismayed and want to relay what we know at this time," Appoquinimink School District Superintendent Matthew Burrows said in a statement released Friday afternoon. "The safety and security of our students is our uppermost concern at this time."
Matt Fallis, the Appoquinimink School District's director of human resources, said the district received no complaints about Holstein during his tenure as a student teacher.
He said the district is in the process of notifying parents at both schools about Holstein's arrest. School counselors also will be available to meet with students when school resumes on Monday, district officials said.
In a statement released this afternoon, University of Delaware officials said all students teachers are required to complete annual federal and state background checks prior to starting their assignments.
Page 2 of 2 - "These fingerprinting background checks must be completed each year between April and July in order for students to be placed in schools for the following academic year, and they must sign a release to have records sent to UD's Office of Clinical Studies," the statement reads. "The university followed these procedures with Mr. Holstein, and he passed his background checks."
Fallis said the district would be working with the university in the coming weeks to review their current student teaching process to determine if any changes need to be made, in light of Holstein's arrest.
"There is a background check process in place that we've followed for years," Fallis said. "But the problem is that in this case, the process did work because there was no indication that this person should not be assigned to a school. So we need to determine if we could have done anything to have prevented this from happening."
Anyone with information that may assist the ongoing investigation can contact the Child Predator Task Force in Dover at 302-739-2030.