This post has been updated with more information.
In the early hours of Dec. 11, FBI agents, along with Bethel Police and Alaska State Troopers, arrested an elementary school principal in Bethel. Chris Carmichael, principal at Gladys Jung Elementary, is currently in federal custody.
There is no word yet on what the charges are. However, the U.S. Attorney’s office expects them to be filed today or tomorrow. The FBI agents in Bethel were from the Child Exploitation Task Force, which primarily investigates online crimes against children.
Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Dan Walker said that he was shocked when he got the call from FBI agents last night.
“We were served with a search warrant at 9:45 p.m. last night. That is the first that we had heard about any sort of investigation,” Walker said.
He said that agents seized Carmichael’s computers from his office at the school. As concerned parents have called the district, Walker has been repeating what FBI agents told him.
“Law enforcement has told us that no students are in danger,” Walker said.
Walker said that Carmichael has worked at LKSD since 2000, and served as principal at Gladys Jung since 2014. LKSD says there are counselors available to talk to parents and children about Carmichael's arrest.
LKSD has named Director of Personnel Josh Gill as interim principal at Gladys Jung Elementary School.
The following resources are available to community members for emotional support during this time:
- LKSD Lead Social Worker: (907) 543-4874 or (907) 545-4429
- Bethel Family Clinic: (907) 543-3773
- YKHC Behavioral Health Department: (907) 543-6100
Additionally, any person with information regarding the criminal investigation of Carmichael is encouraged to contact the FBI at (907) 276-4441.