Peter Flynn, a 61 year-old special education teacher at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School, was indicted this past Wednesday in federal court for distributing child pornography.
According to MCPS Spokesman Dana Tofig, Flynn was removed from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in September of 2014 when MCPS was initially informed about the federal investigation. Flynn is currently on administrative leave.
“The allegations against him in this case are not related to his job. As soon as we were notified that an indictment had been handed down, the principal notified the community as quickly as possible,” said Tofig.
Tofig noted that Flynn began his career in MCPS in May of 1978 as a substitute teacher’s assistant. He was hired as a special education para-educator at B-CC High School in 1979 and in 1980 became a special education teacher at the school.
In an email sent to the BCC High School community, Principal Karen Lockard stated that no alleged illegal activity occurred on school property or involved any of his students. Flynn had not been with students since last September. She also noted that counseling services will be available for students next week.
One student at BCC who had interacted with Flynn in a math class observed that “there was never anything wrong in [his] mind with the teacher.” Flynn had worked in multiple math and English classes during the previous school year assisting students with special accommodations. Several recent graduates of BCC High School remember Flynn as “a nice, generally well-liked person.”
Other students expressed disbelief and frustration. One believed that placing Flynn on “administrative leave last September without further explanation is an act of irresponsibility.” Recently, many students and parents have voiced concerns about the delay with which MCPS notifies its community about criminal allegations leveled on staff members.
According to a statement from the office of United States Attorney Rod. J. Rosenstein, Flynn faces up to 20 years sentence to prison for pornography distribution and another 10 years for pornography possession. After appearing in court on Friday afternoon, Flynn was released on the conditions that he must seek psychiatric treatment, avoid minors, not have access to pornography, firearms, and devices with internet access.
Article by the MoCo Student News Staff