Parents: Meeting about Charles Co. sex abuse allegations was 'waste of time'

Parents were all set to ask tough questions at a meeting with school officials in Charles County after abuse allegations.

CHARLES COUNTY, MD (WUSA9) - Parents packed the cafeteria at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School Friday, hoping to get some answers.

They wanted to know why they only recently found out about Carlos Bell, a teacher and coach accused of making pornographic videos with students, even though he was taken out of school seven months ago. 

"As a community, it's very hurtful something like this could happen and we not be notified a very long time later," said a parent who didn't want to be identified. 

Many parents left the meeting early Friday, calling it a joke, or a waste of time. Some felt the right people to answer their questions weren't present. Others wanted to know exactly what steps the school is taking to make sure this doesn't happen again. 

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"We all just got an email at the beginning of July. Now you want us to come together and be happy and understanding and I think that's unrealistic," said one parent. 

Bell, 30, was arrested June 30, charged with production of child pornography and three counts of second-degree assault. 

According to the sheriff's office, an investigation began in December after a high school student's parent raised concerns about electronic messages from Bell to her child. 

Bell, who was an instructional assistant at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School and also the head indoor track coach at La Plata High School, was immediately removed from the school and barred from coaching. Charles County Public Schools said Bell hasn’t worked in any school building since Dec. 22, 2016.

At Friday's meeting, many parents still had a hard time wrapping their head around the allegations. 

"I just want people to know it's not really a representation of the school of community, it's a representation of that individual, he could have been anywhere," said Bridget Nelson, a parent. 

School officials say the goal of the meeting was to give parents information as the investigation continues. They've planned a second meeting Wednesday, August 16. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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