Central High teacher arrested, charged with sexual exploitation of children

Robert Smith was arrested for sexual exploitation of children / Bibb County Sheriff's Office

MACON, Ga. -- A Central High School teacher was arrested for sexual exploitation of children Friday morning.

According to Stephanie Hartley with the Bibb County School District, federal and local authorities notified the school early Friday morning district that 43-year-old Robert Smith was being investigated for being in possession of child pornography materials.

The Bibb County Jail website says he was arrested and charged with felony sexual exploitation of children around 10:15 a.m.

Hartley said Smith, who was not at school Friday, was placed on paid administrative leave immediately after the district was notified about the investigation.

According to the Bibb County Sheriff's Office, Homeland Security investigators obtained a search warrant in reference to child pornography and seized a laptop that reportedly belonged to Smith. The laptop contained several videos of child pornography.

His district-provided laptop was also given to investigators, but nothing inappropriate was found on it according to Hartley.

"The District does not have any knowledge of any inappropriate conduct occurring at school; however, we will continue to remain in contact with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office to monitor the investigation as details unfold," Hartley said in a release. "We want to reassure parents and stakeholders that safety is one of our top priorities and we will do everything possible to ensure each of our schools is a safe place for all students and staff."

Smith has taught in the school system since 2016. He served as a substitute teacher from 2012-2016.

Parents were notified of the situation via phone message earlier Friday, according to Hartley.

The jail website says that Smith remains in jail.

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