Reaction after former school tech specialist arrested, facing child porn charges

ROOTSTOWN, Ohio - A technology specialist now accused of possessing "materials considered exploitive of children," was previously assigned to work in every one of Rootstown's school buildings, according to the school district's superintendent.

Andrew Shonk, 36, was arrested in Jackson Township on Tuesday.

He faces charges that include pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. Both are felonies.

In a robocall to parents Superintendent Andrew Hawkins said Shonk was employed by the Portage County Educational Service Center as a technology specialist and was assigned to the Rootstown Local Schools from 2006-2012.

Hawkins stressed to Fox 8 News on Wednesday that Shonk was never directly hired by the school district.

"The safety and security of our staff and students is a primary concern for us at Rootstown and at this time, I ask all the residents and parents, students to be patient, let the judicial system play out," said Hawkins.

Details of the allegations or the ages of the children involved was not made public.

In his robocall, however, Hawkins said that some of the images in question do involve Rootstown students during the time Shonk was in their schools.

News of the arrest came as a shock to those who worked alongside Shonk and to parents in the community.

"I'm glad that the school called us right away, as soon as it happened they told us about it. I'm very disheartened that something like this would happen in our school system," said Pete Oyster.

"I guess my first thought was I'm glad that the FBI has arrested this person and I'm very glad that the school system, Andrew Hawkins put out the robocall. I mean to me it seems like they are trying to be very transparent about the investigation and whats going on," said Emily Hermon.

Records also show Shonk is an employee of the Hudson city schools, although as of Wednesday there are no accusations involving any current or former Hudson students.

"The one thing I do know, being in the district fifteen years that the 'Rover' family is strong and we will rally together and support each other. But at this time I ask everybody to be patient and let's let the system play out," said Hawkins, who told Fox 8 News that he was also stunned when he first learned of Shonk's arrest.

"Shocking. There's a lot of adjectives you could throw out there when you get the call from the FBI about the investigation. All we could do now, as we have been doing, is cooperate with the FBI and let them handle their piece of the investigation and prosecution and be patient throughout the process," said Hawkins.

"I just hope that the families that are affected....I just feel for them," said Oyster.