FBI Child Exploitation Task Force arrests Bethel school principal

Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael was arrested in Bethel and released into federal custody on Dec. 11, 2019. (Photo by Petra Harpak/KYUK)

Update (Thursday, 4:35 p.m.) — Greg Kim, KYUK-Bethel

Bethel Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael has been charged with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor and attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. (Read more.)

Original story

FBI agents, along with Bethel police and Alaska State Troopers, arrested an elementary school principal in Bethel early Wednesday morning.

Chris Carmichael, principal at Gladys Jung Elementary School, is currently in federal custody. There is no word yet on what the charges are. However, the U.S. attorney’s office expects charges to be filed this week.

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.

“We were served with a search warrant at 9:45 p.m. (Tuesday). 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. He has served as principal at Gladys Jung since 2014.

LKSD said there are counselors available to talk to parents and children about Carmichael’s arrest.

LKSD has named Josh Gill, the district’s director of personnel and student services, as interim principal at Gladys Jung Elementary School.

This story has been updated.

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