York Co. school holds meeting to discuss child porn allegations

by: Erica Bryant Updated:

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YORK COUNTY, S.C. - A York County school is on edge after a board member was charged with having photos of children engaged in sexual activity on his computer.

On Wednesday night, administrators held an emergency meeting with parents, during which the school board tried to calm concerned parents of York Preparatory Academy students.

“Our hearts are broke right now, but we will pick up the pieces and move on,” said one board member.

Emotions are running high after board member Tim Ruzbacki was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

He has been released on bond and suspended from the board.

“It’s a concern. As a parent, you don’t want a pedophile in your school,” said Gretchen Hansson, parent to two students at the school.

Hansson said Wednesday night she was frustrated by mixed messages from the school board.

The board released a letter, saying it was caught off guard by Ruzbacki’s arrest, but another board member said there were red flags with Ruzbacki’s background check before he was appointed.

“How that got overlooked, well, these people knew but other people didn’t?” asked another parent.

The allegations come amid other frustrations that the school just changed leadership again, with a second managing director for the campus moving on in just the past three years.

“We don’t need this. We’re trying to get out kids good educations. We don’t need this. We’re trying to raise kids, and we keep getting knocked down,” said Dottie Janesko.

The board promised parents could expect a new communications process in the coming days to give them the most current information.

Ruzbacki faces 10 counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, deputies said.  He faces up to 10 years in prison on each charge if he is convicted.