Middle school teacher arrested: Exchanged sexual texts - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Middle school teacher arrested: Exchanged sexual texts with student

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A longtime teacher from Centennial Middle School in Ahwatukee is now behind bars accused of luring a minor for sexual exploitation. The arrest has shocked parents.

According to the Phoenix Police Department 61 year old James Giannopolous is a sixth grade science teacher at Centennial Middle School. They say he exchanged hundreds of inappropriate text messages with a former student under the age of 15. Police say it was clear he was luring her for sex.

"I think it's obviously very disturbing... Yes," said an unnamed parent.

Parents at Centennial Middle School in Ahwatukee are upset after learning a long-time teacher was arrested for trying to lure a female student for sex via text messaging.

Police arrested 61 year old James Giannopolous last night. This all happened on Tuesday when another teacher observed Giannopolous being a little too close to a student.
The information was immediately turned over to the Kyrene School District who notified authorities.

"it became clear that there was some information that needed to be shared with the Phoenix Police," said Kelly Alexander with the Kyrene School District.

Giannpolous was put on leave while detectives investigated the allegation. They found he exchanged hundreds of text messages with that female student, many offering and or soliciting sex with the girl who police say is under the age of 15.

"I'm upset just from listening to that happening at a school here especially here in the Kyrene School District it's probably one of the best educational systems in the State of Arizona so I'm very surprised and angered too," said an unnamed parent.

"we are very saddened by reports like this and certainly this is an excellent school in an excellent school district so we're very sad that an individual would make a decision that would not align to our policies we take the responsibility of working with our students very seriously," said Alexander.

The district sent out a letter to parents Friday notifying them of what happened. Phoenix Police say they are still investigating the case. Giannopolous has worked for the district since 1987 and has no record of any misconduct during his career.

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