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Pennsbury School District Teacher Faces Child Pornography Charges

A Pennsbury School District music instructor was charged with possessing thousands of images and videos of child pornography, the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Christopher Bygott, 47, of Hamilton, N.J., surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning to be charged with possession of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility, both felonies.

Magisterial District Judge Jan Vislosky arraigned him. He was released on $250,000 unsecured bail, with the conditions that he have no contact with minors, stay off the internet, and surrender his passport.

The school district released a statement from Superintendent Thomas Smith saying “a staff member” was arrested on child pornography charges and that authorities do not believe any Pennsbury students were involved.

“The staff member in question was placed on unpaid administrative leave, has been banned from all district properties and district activities, and has been instructed not to communicate with any district staff, students, or families,” Smith said.

“Like every individual we hire, the individual in question has had active and fully cleared PA Child Abuse, PA Criminal History, FBI Criminal Background History, and all other required clearances on file with the district at all times during employment,” Smith added.

Bygott, the band director and curriculum coordinator for instrumental music, took students on overnight trips to perform at various venues.

“The PHS Marching Band has performed on five continents, countless parades, and almost all Disney Parks. Whether entertaining the crowd at a Pennsbury football game, marching in local parades, or performing in another country, this outstanding group of students, under the direction of Chris Bygott and his dedicated staff, is a strong point of pride for the district,” said Jennifer Neill, the district’s spokesperson was quoted as saying last year.

Tim Daly, a parent whose children had Bygott as a teacher, said, “Our superintendent and school board have continually told our community they are better suited to assume a parental role for students through teachers than the actual parents. This incident further supports why parents should have oversight into what is happening with their kids.

“I want answers as to when the school district learned of the allegations and how quickly he was removed from the classroom,” Daly added.

According to the criminal complaint, Bucks County detectives received tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Dec. 5. The internet address used to upload the child pornography from an Amazon Photos account was at the Bucks County Intermediate Unit. Bygott’s email address was on the account, the complaint said. County intermediate units provide various services to school districts, usually related to special education and curriculum.

During a Dec. 13 interview with detectives at the Pennsbury High School East campus, Bygott allegedly admitted that he was “sick” and “had a problem,” the complaint said. Bygott told detectives that his cell phone contained numerous files with child sexual abuse material.

A forensic examination of Bygott’s cell phone found it had more than 2,000 child pornographic images and videos, the complaint said.

“Mr. Bygott worked at multiple buildings during his employment in Pennsbury. As soon as the district received notification from the Bucks County District Attorney’s office, Mr. Bygott was placed on unpaid leave. Until notification by the Bucks County DA, the district had no reason to suspect Mr. Bygott of any misconduct,” said Neill.

The case is assigned for prosecution to Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Lannetti, chief of child abuse prosecution.

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Lower Merion Trans Teacher’s Video ‘Lesson Plan’ Sparks Parent Concerns

A Lower Merion middle school special education teacher’s video presentation regarding his transgender experience appears to be a presentation for children and is in the form of a lesson plan. Now that the video has gone public, thanks to the social media site “Libs of TikTok,” concerned parents are asking questions and demanding transparency.

The school district, however, is not cooperating.

The video shows Ben Beaman of Welsh Valley Middle School telling his students about his process of transitioning from female to male to non-binary. The slides explain that Ms. Beaman now goes by Mx. Beaman and that, “I was born in the wrong body. Even though I was born a girl, I feel more like a boy on the inside but fully feel like either.”

After parents approached No Left Turn in Education for help, Nicole Smith filed a right-to-know (RTK) request to see the lesson plans used by the teacher.  The district denied her request, but it was approved by the state Office of Open Records in Harrisburg. The district then sued to overturn that ruling.

While the video shows slides explaining the transition process to students, the district claimed they were not lesson plans. Assistant Superintendent Alexis McGloin testified Wednesday before Common Pleas Court Senior Judge Joseph A. Smythe, Jr. that the teacher’s class has no lesson plans.

McGloin told the judge there are no lesson plans for Beaman’s Welsh Valley Middle School four-student special education class because the teacher does not follow the district’s curriculum. Instead, each student has an individual education plan (IEP), and the teacher uses that to create progress reports.

“These are highly individualized for that child,” said McGloin.

“You’re saying you have no lesson plans?” asked Smythe.

“That’s a student record,” said district lawyer Justin O’Donoghue with Wisler Pearstine.

O’Donoghue said not only does the teacher not have lesson plans, but the open records request also violates the Family Rights and Privacy Act. And the district contends the RTK request was not specific enough.

Smith did not present an argument to the court or call witnesses.

“They’re going to great lengths to keep things out to the public’s eye,” she told DVJournal after the hearing. “And if they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong, I don’t know what the big deal is with releasing the lesson plans.”

Smith said the parents who contacted No Left Turn in Education, which was founded by Lower Merion resident Elana Fishbein, were afraid to file their own RTKs because the district might retaliate against their children.

They have “a real fear of retaliation,” Smith said.

From Ben Beaman’s video presentation on gender transitioning

Smythe did not rule but instead took the case under advisement.

Beaman did not respond to a request for comment.

Fishbein said her organization “has been filing FOIA (RTK in Pennsylvania) with school districts all over the country, many of them in Pennsylvania. We have been exposing a lot about the instruction, rule policy, and decision-making that results in student indoctrination or the teaching of inappropriate subject matter to school children.”

In the Lower Merion case, Beaman “was actively sharing her transitions journey to a male and then non-binary with her special education class, a personal matter of hers that should not have been a topic of conversation in a classroom, particularly among vulnerable children. We submitted our request seeking to find out what exactly she has been sharing and teaching her students.”

“Of course, LMSD has fought us tooth and nail, first claiming that the teacher creates almost 80 lesson plans a week and 3,000 a year, and thus the request was too burdensome and vague. They also claim the usual, that some of her material was copyrighted. The Pennsylvania RTK court ruled that they should share the lesson plans with us, and they filed a lawsuit to reverse that ruling.

“The Lower Merion community should be informed about the wide leeway that the local schools are permitting teachers in regard to the ‘instruction’ (or in many cases, indoctrination) they are divulging to their charges,” Fishbein said.

PA Teacher Asks Republicans to Shoot Unvaxxed Constituents

A 9th grade English teacher, who is a member of the board of the National Education Association, posted a disturbing rant on social media blasting people who have not gotten vaccinated and saying, “I don’t know why the GOP doesn’t just take those guns they profess to love so much and start shooting all of their constituents who think this way.”

“It would be quicker and ultimately safer than putting me and my friends and family at risk,” said Mollie Paige Mumau, who teaches at General McLane High School in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.

“Screw this guy and screw them all who are all about hiding behind religious exemptions because they don’t want anybody to tell them what to do. People tell you what to do all the time and you do it. This is such BS,” said Mumau in her post. “He and his ilk deserve whatever comes their way, including losing jobs, getting sick and perhaps dying from the virus. But in the meantime, he’s going to put all the people around him in danger.”

Neither Mumau nor the NEA responded to a request for comment.

“The district is aware of a potentially inappropriate social media comment by a staff member. The district will investigate the matter and act accordingly. In all situations, the district’s utmost concern is the safety of our students and staff,” said Sarah Grabski, director of communications and administrative services for the General McLane School District.

Grabski confirmed that Mumau is an employee, but “she is not in our buildings today. We are not legally permitted to share any additional information about personnel actions or consequences at this time.”

Some candidates were appalled by Mumau’s post.

“The teacher should be fired. More importantly, this anti-science, partisan hate has no place in America—especially, someone entrusted with educating our children. We expect teachers to lead and nurture—not preach hate, division and violence,” said Guy Ciarrocchi, a Republican candidate for governor. He is on leave from his position as president of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry.

“The General McLane School District should take immediate action to fire her,” said Charlie Gerow, a Republican strategist and gubernatorial candidate. “We can’t have someone like her teaching our kids.  This is an outrageous rant from a delusional and angry teacher.”

Former Republican Congressman Lou Barletta, who is running for governor, said, “This just shows the shocking contempt that the bureaucracy has for the rights of students and parents. The government shouldn’t be ordering people to take the vaccine, when it should be their own personal medical decision. And parents should be in charge of medical decisions for their own children, not the government.

“This also highlights the fact that Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is in court right now to continue forcing kids to wear masks in school,” said Barletta. “These ought to be parental decisions because we know that kids are less susceptible to the virus than adults. It’s just common sense, which sadly seems to be in short supply these days.”

Shapiro did not respond to a request to comment for this article.

Myron Goldman, a retired Philadelphia School District math teacher and the GOP chairman for Cheltenham, said, “Such a comment, assuming it is accurate, would be horrible for anyone to utter, but for a teacher to state such hate, calls into question this person’s fitness to teach children.

I would expect the board of the teacher’s district to react.  On the other hand, if accurate, the statement would demonstrate the teacher’s belief that any attack on Republicans, no matter how vile or violent, is acceptable.  I wonder if she has a ‘Hate has no home here’ sign on her lawn.”


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