Mom: Son reported teacher, Lawrence Hughes, had child porn 7 years ago, but was ignored

10:56 PM, Jun 17, 2013   |    comments
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Bartow, Florida- Last Thursday, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd announced the arrest of 59-year-old middle school teacher Lawrence Hughes.

"We know this is a bad, bad school teacher," said Sheriff Judd during a news conference with members of the media.

Investigators say they later found more than 20 child porn images on two of the teacher's school issued computers at Bartow's Union Academy.

See also: Teacher caught with child porn on school computers

"He didn't say how many years he'd been addicted to porn, but I am suspicious. We know it's not his first rodeo, so who's not been reporting him in the past?" asked Sheriff Judd.

See also: Teacher charged with child porn admits "I'm addicted to porn"

But parent Joan Mac Hill has spoken out, saying she did report Mr. Hughes, seven years ago, when her son John was an 8th grader in Hughes' class.

"My son just blurted out, 'well he has porn on his computer'" said Mac Hill who admitted at first, even she was skeptical. "I thought 'well he's a kid; he'll do anything to get out of not having to do his homework.'"

But her son insisted he was telling the truth. Joan said she took the complaint to the school's principal, but was shocked by the reaction.

"He said my son was a troublemaker and there was no point of fact that there was porn on that teacher's computer."

When word broke of Hughes' arrest Thursday, Joan contacted both Polk Detectives and Bartow Police, outraged by how she said school officials ignored her son's story years earlier.

"He had no right to expose those children to that," Mac Hill said. "He had no right to bring his personal things into that classroom."

According to Joan, the entire situation could have been stopped years earlier if someone had just taken her son's complaint a little more seriously.

10 News contacted Polk County Schools late Monday afternoon. An investigator with School System's Human Resource Department told us he could not comment on if they'd received any previous complaints because of their own active investigation into Mr. Hughes.

Polk County Detectives and Bartow Police will be talking to Joan and her son trying to get more information on exactly what he may have seen in the classroom, and if any other potential abuse might have occurred.

Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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