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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Campus reacts to band director's 'sexting' arrest

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Campus reacts to band director's 'sexting' arrest

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A well known high school band director is off the job tonight after landing in jail over the weekend. North Brunswick's Mark Riel is on administrative leave after allegations surfaced against him.

Riel's arrest was unexpected to most parents with kids at North Brunswick High. Many parents found out about the sexting allegations Monday morning.

"I was shocked, very shocked," Linda Winters, who's grandchild goes to NBHS, said.

Deputies arrested Riel and charged with one count of indecent liberties with a minor after allegedly sending what investigators called an inappropriate text message to a student.

"Upon that arrest and that notification we immediately began an investigation in which resulted in his suspension with pay," Brunswick Co. Schools spokeswoman Jessica Swencki said.

The district won't say much more. It would not say if the alleged sexting is an isolated incident or who reported riel in the first place.

We talked with a North Brunswick freshman monday who's close to Riel. The boy was completely unaware of his band director's arrest.

"He's kind have been a father to me," the boy said. "I really do love him. How do you think others in the band will take it? I think they'll take it the same way. Shock? Yeah."

The school district says Riel has been working as the band director at North Brunswick High since 2005. According to the band's Facebook fan page Riel became a father in early December.

Though the district won't say how serious the allegations against Riel may be, it is clear that any allegations against a teacher will be looked into quickly.

"It is important to us that we handle things very expeditiously," Swencki said.

Riel is out of jail under $25,000 secured bond. We did not find a phone number for him, but we did reach out to riel online to see if he had any comment on the recent allegations. So far we have not heard back from him.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


He has not been yet been

He has not been yet been prosecuted either. Also, kids especially young females do it often and authorities do make immediate arrest based on a child's accusation. I've also known other who were accused and arrested, with a significantly higher bond and then found innocent due to lack of evidence. So just because there is a arrest doesn't that there is ebough evidence to be proven guilty. So just chill!

Innocent until proven guilty

I've known Mark Riel for many years, and find it very hard to believe that he would have done this. He has always conducted himself with the utmost professionalism. Please remember that this is just an accusation, not proven fact, until it goes to court. My thoughts are with Mark and his family, as well as all of the band students at North Brunswick.


Let's not try this in the media. I don't know him or his family, but there is a thing as "innocent until proven guilty". Let the authorities investigate and then go from there. If he is innocent, his reputation has already been destroyed and there will always be those that believe the worst. If he is guilty, put him on trial and throw him in jail where he belongs. In the meantime, this could be a student who is angry and vindictive and trying to hurt a teacher. Put some of the blame where it belongs - parents who don't pay attention to what their child is doing. I despise the fact that so many children have cell phones and are able to access just about anything these days. What happened to the word NO you can't have one. I don't want to hear the whiners talking about that they need to stay in touch with their children or that the kids need to be like their friends and have a cell phone. No they don't! That sends a message of accepting peer pressure and letting your child fit in. That is not the message you should be sending. Check their phones - you might be surprised what your little "innocent" is doing with it.



Out of all the years I've

Out of all the years I've known Mark Riel, there is no way this is possible. He's been a mentor to many, allowing them to be a part of his life and his family. He has children and I know he wouldn't want anyone preying on his children, so how or why would he prey on someone else's? I mean the opportunities he creates for his students are amazing. He's too phenomenal of a husband, father, teacher, and everything else for this to be true. I'm going to have to completely disagree with this until more information is released to prove me wrong. God knows the real truth behind this and he will give proper justice in the end.

Another sad story...

This happened in my high school. The girl was just as involved as he was. Where are the parents? Why aren't they managing what their kids are doing? There is absolutely ZERO reason that they should be exchanging phone numbers. Pay attention to what these kids are doing! You aren't there to be a friend, you're the parent! Protect them. As for teacher...maybe he didn't do anything wrong. But why put yourself and your family in a situation like this? We live in a media crazy have to know that interacting with students on a personal level could only create issues. It's not worth your job, your reputation, and most importantly your FAMILY!

For some students, Mark WAS

For some students, Mark WAS family. Sure we live in a media craving world, but, for some students, Band, Riel, the family that we are, is all that they had. It is easy to accuse, to place blame, and to assume when you are outside looking in, but from a first-person point of view, I can tell you that this is not a man to blame. His words, generosity and interaction with students on a personal level have genuinely built kids from the ground up and helped to shape them, and their future. This man stressed the importance of family and was very protective of his two sons, and wife. No matter what accusations arise or what students place blame on him, I will always remember him as a teacher and giver.

It does not matter, AT ALL,

It does not matter, AT ALL, if she was 110% responsible. She is a CHILD. He is an ADULT. He should have immediately contacted the principal and her parents. If he had Any contact with this student At All after ANYTHING inappropriate was sent he should be fired and imprisoned.

So, you're a child at 17

So, you're a child at 17 years 11 months, but an adult at 18? COME ON...if you're above 15 you should at LEAST know better. On another note, I'm not saying this 'girl' is that age...all I'm trying to get across is, no one knows what REALLY happened, so why can't people wait for the FACTS. I HATE people jumping to conclusions...sooo annoying.

if she is still able to

if she is still able to attend a Public High School, she is protected just as if she was 7 years old. He is a TEACHER. She is a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT.

I'm not saying he did anything wrong. BUT IF HE DID, and she is a student, he should be arrested and imprisoned for many years.

well said. Well said, indeed.

well said. Well said, indeed.

Whatever happened to"

Whatever happened to" innocent until proven guilty"? As your headline states, he was" accused" of texting. Why doesn't the media back off and let the investigators do their job? Quit turning this into a firestorm when you don't know all of the facts.

And don't turn this into a" Leland thing". That just shows and proves your ignorance. New Hanover has had just as many if not more teacher/student cases as Brunswick County has had. The media refuses to shine the spotlight in their own county.

Finally, someone with sense.

Finally, someone with sense. So tired of people saying it's a "Leland thing". Seriously? "And the murder that JUST happened is a New Hanover/Wilmington thing. YOU people need to stay on YOUR side of the pond." <---That sounds so ignorant!! Talk about segregation.

Reply to Whatever Happened To

Amen! New Hanover and other counties are just as bad as anyone else. Just because your larger in number doesn't mean squat. You put your pants on just like everyone else does and I know for a fact that my God made us you are no better than anyone else in this world that He created. Things could happen right next door to you or worse yet in your own family. Mr. Riel was my son's band director for 4 years and I'm not saying he's innocent or guilty but...he's innocent until proven guilty. Hopefully either way...justice will be done. So back off and let the facts come to light. Then you can have your say and know what you're talking about.

he is innocent. any of his

he is innocent. any of his students or pass student could tell you that he is not like this, and if he said anything sexually it was def. a joke.

as a past student I believe

as a past student I believe that this could be 100% true.

Teachers do not JOKE about

Teachers do not JOKE about sex to students. Period. And as far as the parents monitoring her texts? Puh-lease.

Monitoring what kids are

Monitoring what kids are doing is out of the question why? It takes too much time? They might get upset? I'm not understanding how that is a crazy thought.

Are you serious! Every

Are you serious! Every teacher does in some form or fashion. Teachers aren't saints they are normal human beings who tell jokes as well. You are just an outsider looking in!

There is a certain decorium

There is a certain decorium that should be present between a student and an educator. Sexting has began to sweep the country and regardless of whether or not he is found "guilty" he had to have done something inappropriate that caused the police to arrest him. The police must have had some form of evidence or suspension to arrest him. However, I am a fan of "innocent until proven guilty," nonetheless there must have been something beyond the slap on the wrist punishment that would have been handled by the principal at NBHS.

Seriously, is this any big

Seriously, is this any big surprise to anyone, look at the area he is in? He probably didn't even do it. It is probably just some nasty girl from Leland looking for some attention or her parents looking for money.

And this assumption is based on??

Really? Girls from Leland are nasty? And you know this how? You have friends from there? You originally haled from there? Your mom lives there? Honey, there are 'skanks from every state'. (and of course, that includes from every county, I'm sure including yours) Let's not blame what 'allegedly' happened on where people are from, that is ignorance in the truest form.

NBHS Band Director

What does the area that U live in have to do with what is going on... U must have lost something upstiars when U were writing your statement.... PROUD to be from LELAND

You. Not U. I think that's

You. Not U. I think that's exactly why people think of Leland like they do. This is coming from a girl born and raised there until she escaped all the ignorance and close-mindedness after graduating from NBHS.


Did that make you feel better to sit behind your computer and write that for a statement? Smart, smart you are.

Let's focus on the TRUE issue here...

Does that really make you feel smart making assumptions about people from areas other than yours? Does that really make you feel better to insult people, as well as rural areas in a comment section of a story that has absolutely NOTHING to do with 'Oh, that happened out there in the backwoods country where I assume they are all ignorant'. (oh, and THAT must be the true cause of this! Aha!) Seriously, why don't you just tweet about your feelings of superiority or discuss it at the water cooler with with your 'upper class', dignified, snotty co-workers.
I am well educated and proud to be a graduate of NBHS, as well as have a daughter currently attending there, who makes the honor roll in Honor's classes. And I believe people now days LOVE to feed off of anything negative in the news. Oh wait, pretty much everything reported on the news is negative. Bottom line is - this is all rubbish.

Go Check Brunswick County court records

Before you all start defending this sexual deviant, perhaps you shouold go check the Brunswick County court records for Mr. Riel. He has a child like behavior, and when a group of his former students decided not to be his "friend", he filed suit against them two years ago in Brunswick County court! He wanted more than $10,000 in superior court because these particular students he believed "forked" his yard. (500 forks were stuck in his yard) Well, there was NO criminal action he could take because he could not prove it was them, and still...forking, is not illegal. One of the students countersued him and Mr. Riel dropped the lawsuit. This happened about 2 or 3 years ago and was even in the paper. So, this man has some skeletons to hide....

A Double Standard????????

The injustice in our "justice" system is appalling! Why is it that there is such a double standard in reference to sexual misconduct. If the student was a willing participant in the occurence, them why is it that the student has not been repremanded by our court systems as well? Oh, many of them are hidden under the veil of statutes that are not allowing them to be held legally accountable. Are our court systems then not also contribuators to the delinquency of minors, condoning inappropriate behaviors towards their instructors? Their identities are protected along with their personal information while simultaneously exposing the prospective sexual offender down to his undergarments....GIVE ME A BREAK! The protection of our children is our top priority but who will protect those who are targeted by those children who are not as incoherent as some may think? By no means am I an advocate for sexual predators. My analysis is that there are too many adult men and women in the media for sexual misconduct; where are the other participants? It may very well be possible that if there is some accountablity on the part of the minor, them maybe both parties will be less willing and more ready to consider the consequences.

Did you stop to think the

Did you stop to think the student could have been a minor?

because she IS A

because she IS A CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!