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Miami Beach Vice Principal Facing Child Porn Charges Appears Before Judge

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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – In the formal charges against him, federal agents say they watched an assistant principal, in an internet video chat room, sending and receiving pornographic photos and videos of children. They say he confessed to the sick behavior.

In Miami Federal Court on Wednesday, 48-year-old Don Clippinger, a longtime public educator, was hauled up on charges of child pornography.

He was the assistant principal at Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center on Miami Beach, a 23-year veteran of the school system.

His attorney declined to discuss details of the kiddie porn case against Clippinger, but did speak well of him after the brief court hearing.

“Our position is that we ask the community to remember the decades of service that Mr. Clippinger has given the community through Miami Dade schools,” said attorney Michael Davis.

A half dozen friends and family members appeared in court in support of the accused child porn offender. They declined to speak to reporters afterwards.

A mother who has three students at Fienberg-Fisher was also in the court room.

“I know Don Clippinger personally. He’s always gone out of his way to be nice to all the other parents, the students, the staff. This is something that absolutely surprised me and my husband,” Rachel Stevens said.

Stevens said that she has lost her respect and affection for Clippinger.

“I keep my children away from the internet, from social media, trying to keep them away from predators,” Stevens said. “And it hurts me to say I didn’t do a very good job as a parent, because there was one at their school.”

The Miami-Dade school system has moved to immediately terminate Clippinger due to his alleged “disgraceful and reprehensible behavior.”

In a search of Clippinger’s home, court documents show agents were looking for computers, storage devices and “child pornography and child erotica.”

The government asked that Clippinger, who they say was recorded pleasuring himself while viewing child porn, be held without bond. They say he is a threat to the community.

A bond hearing will be held in federal court at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

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