A robocall from the superintendent of the Rootstown Schools on Tuesday informed parents that a former technology worker had been arrested due to allegations of possessing materials considered exploitive of children.
According to superintendent Andrew Hawkins, Andrew Shonk, who was a technology specialist assigned to the Rootstown Local Schools from 2006-2012, was arrested by Jackson police on Tuesday. Some of the children in the exploitive material he allegedly possessed were Rootstown students during the time Shonk was assigned in the district, according to the robocall.
According to Massillon Municipal Court, Shonk was charged with pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material of performance. Shonk is being held in Stark County Jail.
Below is the full transcript of the robocall:
Hello, this is Andrew Hawkins from Rootstown Schools and I am calling with serious and concerning information regarding Andrew Shonk, who was employed by the Portage County ESC as a technology specialist and was assigned to the Rootstown Local Schools from 2006-2012. The Rootstown Local School District is cooperating with federal authorities in a criminal investigation concerning Mr. Shonk. While the investigation is ongoing, we understand that Mr. Shonk was arrested today by law enforcement agents regarding allegations that Mr. Shonk has been in possession of materials considered exploitive of children. Some of these children were Rootstown students during the time Mr. Shonk was in our schools. We are saddened and frustrated by these allegations and have been working closely with the FBI since we learned of the investigation.
Safety of our students and staff is always our primary concern and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement throughout the investigation and prosecution. If you have any information you believe may be relevant to the investigation, please contact to the FBI immediately at 216-522-1400. Please feel free to contact me at 330-325-9911 with questions or concerns.
Thank you and have a great evening.
A second robocall was also sent to Hudson City School District parents. Shonk was the former assistant network manager for the school district but recently resigned. Shonk was employed by the school district in 2013, according to Hudson school officials.
Officials said an FBI investigation indicated that while Shonk didn't possess any photos of Hudson students that would be considered exploitive, he did "seek and save" photos from various social media sites and some of those specific photos were of Hudson school students.
The full robocall transcript is below:
Hello, Hudson City School District Parents,
This is Superintendent Phil Herman. I am calling with serious and concerning information regarding a former district employee. The Hudson City School District is cooperating with federal authorities in an on-going investigation that is taking place at this time concerning now former Assistant Network Manager, Andrew Shonk. The investigation is regarding allegations that Mr. Shonk has been in possession of materials considered exploitive of children. It goes without saying that we are disturbed and disgusted by the allegations.
Last week, when we learned of the investigation, the district immediately placed Mr. Shonk on leave and he has subsequently resigned. We also took immediate steps to block Mr. Shonk’s access to District information systems, buildings, and off-site events. While the investigation is ongoing, the FBI has provided us with limited information, including that Mr. Shonk did not possess images of any Hudson student that the FBI considers exploitive of children. He did, however, seek and save photographs from social media sites, and the FBI has indicated some of those social media photos are of Hudson students. We do not yet know from the FBI specifics on what sites he accessed.
Safety is always our primary concern and keeping you informed is important to us. We will continue to work closely with law enforcement throughout the investigation and will provide you with updated information when it is officially released to us. If you have any information you believe may be relevant to the investigation, please reach out to the FBI immediately at (216) 522-1400. As always, please feel free to contact me directly at (330) 653-1216 with questions or concerns.