Miami Beach assistant principal arrested on child pornography charges

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - An assistant principal at a Miami Beach lower school was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of child pornography.

According to police, Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center assistant principal Don Clippinger was arrested on charges of downloading child pornography from the internet.

Special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) took Clippinger into custody at his Miami Shores home.

“I don’t know anything,” a woman who was watching the home told 7News in Spanish.

However, she went on to describe Clippinger as “a nice man.”

Parents of children who attend the school were shocked by the allegations. “Oh, Lord. I had no idea,” said one mother.

“Well, I don’t know anything about it,” said one father. “I hope that’s not true, though.”

Concerned mother Angelica Herrera said Clippinger always had a smile on his face. “He sees everybody [and says], ‘Hi.’ He greets everybody, ‘How are you doing?'” she said.

“Honestly, I wouldn’t feel comfortable whatsoever with the fact that there is a man out there who’s into this stuff and is around children,” said Carlos Albelo, whose child is enrolled at the center. “That would make any parent feel uncomfortable.”

Herrera agreed, saying it’s scary to think that someone accused of child pornography was around her 10-year-old daughter. “That’s the scary part. You know, even if it would have been five seconds, that’s five seconds he could have had some things in his mind about my daughter,” she said.

School officials said they are working toward removing the 23-year teaching veteran from his post.

Miami-Dade Public Schools spokesperson Daisy Gonzalez-Diego released a statement that read, “The accusations made against this employee are disgraceful and reprehensible, and constitute conduct unbecoming a school district employee. Miami-Dade County Public Schools has initiated procedures for the immediate termination of this individual from any and all employment with the school district.”

Clippinger will appear before a judge Thursday.

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