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.