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Ex-band director arrested on child pornography charges

Billy Hobbs/ Morris News Service
Thomson Police Officer Clay Hammond and GBI Special Agent Charles Kicklighter escort former Thomson band director Brad Pirkle to a patrol car following his arrest Wednesday
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THOMSON, Ga. --- A former band director who was a 2009 Teacher of the Year at Thomson Middle School was arrested Wednesday on child pornography charges.

Philip Bradley Pirkle, 32, of the 400 block of Johns Road, Thomson, was charged with two counts of computer pornography and child exploitation, according to Gary Nicholson, special agent in-charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Office.

Pirkle was a popular instructor at Thomson Middle and Thomson-McDuffie County Junior High schools before he resigned in July. GBI agents arrested him at his home Wednesday, and Magistrate Judge William Bryant Swan Jr. set bond at $50,000. He was being held in the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center.

In a news conference, Nicholson said additional charges could be filed, and federal authorities could become involved.

School Superintendent Jim LeBrun said when he learned last year that Pirkle was under investigation, he called him in for a meeting at which time the teacher resigned.

GBI agents secured a warrant and searched Pirkle's home last July 20 in an attempt to find evidence that might link him to having inappropriately communicated with a 14-year-old girl.

"The communications were of a sexual nature and it was discussed that they wanted to meet each other for sex," according to GBI Special Agent Charles Kicklighter in court records related to the warrant.

The girl's mother told the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department that her daughter had been on MySpace, communicating with a schoolteacher, whom she identified as Pirkle. The case later was turned over to the GBI.

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Petey Aitchess
0
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Petey Aitchess 02/25/10 - 03:42 am
0
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At least he isn't gay.

At least he isn't gay.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 02/25/10 - 07:35 am
0
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Pervs are out there having

Pervs are out there having sex with children, gay and straight. Congrats to the mom for being aware of her daughter's computer use.

Just me 2
0
Points
Just me 2 02/25/10 - 08:35 am
0
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You are so right.Thank

You are so right.Thank goodness she has a Mother who loves her and is trying to keep her safe. My children always ask " Why are you so nosy Mom?" Well, to all the children out there....THIS IS WHY MOMS ARE SO NOSY! (I though is was nosey but spell check said no.)LOL!

willienelson
5
Points
willienelson 02/25/10 - 08:36 am
0
0
Here's the problem. These

Here's the problem. These child rapists never stop. There is no way to rehab them into a different behavior. So what do we do? Do we make the punishment life in prison and support them forever?

cricketflea
3
Points
cricketflea 02/25/10 - 08:45 am
0
0
It just makes me SICK!!! And

It just makes me SICK!!! And to think so many parents entrusted their children to this man, including me!!! He taught my child in middle school several years ago and all the kids and parents thought SO much of him. Just goes to PROVE you can't tell who the MONSTERS are just by looking at them!!! Way to go to the "nosy" Mom who checked up on her daughter!!

themaninthemirror
0
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themaninthemirror 02/25/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
I really don't think this man

I really don't think this man is a child molester by nature, I think he just got caught up in the fact that one of his students admired him and he took it a little too far. That being said, he still should have known better. This man has ruined what could have been an excellent educational career, and any thing else he decides to do in the future. If convicted, he will have to register as a sex offender, which will automatically destroy his reputation. Not trying to be vulgar, but was chasing that teeny bopper *** worth all this?

H4LJ
1
Points
H4LJ 02/25/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
Teacher of the year, ey?

Teacher of the year, ey? Disgusting!

cakewalk30904
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cakewalk30904 02/25/10 - 09:53 am
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Maninthemirror. I don't see

Maninthemirror. I don't see how a 32 year old can get "caught up" in a conversation like that. When I was in school, our teachers accepted the admiration with a thank you. Not a meeting for sex! You can't defend this mans actions!

ttowngirl
0
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ttowngirl 02/25/10 - 10:12 am
0
0
knowing him he and who he was

knowing him he and who he was on a personal level i believe he did let it go way too far and should've not continued any conversation with a child of that age but he has always been full of himself even referring to himself as "eyecandy"

cash bail
0
Points
cash bail 02/25/10 - 10:15 am
0
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I think this little girl

I think this little girl needs some guidance. If she was willing to meet this 32yr old for sex; who will be next. She needs to be punished for her acts as well. This man should be ashamed of himself. He of all people should have sat this child down and given her a stern -adult talking to about how boys are. But if she continues, how many boys lives will she mess up. Boys her age and older can get into some serious trouble as well. This girl is a ticking bomb that is ready to do adult things. Who has she heard or seen do these acts and is ready to do the same????

deekster
24
Points
deekster 02/25/10 - 10:22 am
0
0
What's this with teachers and

What's this with teachers and their students? I think the Bible has an answer. Mothers and fathers killing their babies and children. Adults preying on innocent children. Could it be "inordinate affection"? No, it is just ordinary people "expressing a lifestyle choice". A "civil right" as it were for some in this Godless, sick society.

bankgirl
0
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bankgirl 02/25/10 - 10:48 am
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ttowngirl.. i don't know

ttowngirl.. i don't know where he gets off calling himself "eye candy" because he's not even that cute..

ach1239
0
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ach1239 02/25/10 - 11:01 am
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~Bankgirl...you've got that

~Bankgirl...you've got that right!!
~Cashbail, this girl does need some major guidance!

triumph110
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triumph110 02/25/10 - 11:02 am
0
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This is happening all over

This is happening all over the country. Go to www.schoolteachernews.com and click on the Scandal page. This year they have already documented over 100 of these types of incidents. They also have a map of where the incidents have taken place. In 2009 they found 464 of these kinds of cases.

RoadKing09
16
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RoadKing09 02/25/10 - 11:26 am
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They both should be neutered.

They both should be neutered.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 02/25/10 - 12:15 pm
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bankgirl- When you have to

bankgirl- When you have to use the internet to solicit sex, most of the time "sight unseen", that says a lot about one's appearance, doesn't it?

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 02/25/10 - 12:24 pm
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cakewalk30904- Believe me, I

cakewalk30904- Believe me, I am in no way defending this man's actions. We must have been in the same school generation, because I can not recall one incident of student/teacher hanky panky. I did have some pretty teachers though, and teenage "testesterone" did cause my mind to wander occassionally, but none of those emotions were ever acted on or even made aware of. If this youg lady were my daughter, I would have probably been the one arrested. First for beating the **** out of this teacher, then for dealing with my daughter with a hickory switch. As I said in the article, this teacher let his ego overrule his common sense, and he will now pay the price.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 02/25/10 - 01:07 pm
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I undertsand what

I undertsand what maninthemirror is trying to say. Just because a man sees a sexual attraction to a young sexually mature female does not make him a pervert. Girls that age marry older men in some countries. However, it does make him profoundly stupid and immoral to even consider speaking to her in any less than a fatherly or professional manner. Impressionable teens, male and female, get infatuated with adults all the time; it is up to the adult to act like one and help realign the child's expectations.

hannahfromgeorgia
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hannahfromgeorgia 02/25/10 - 04:22 pm
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i personally know Brad... and

i personally know Brad... and he is a good guy... he was my teacher for 3 years and he taught me soo much... i never witnessed him being in anyway inappropriate... i also believe he got caught up in it.. i believe we all make mistakes and none of us are perfect... i do believe he was wrong... and should be punished.. but he is not the "BAD GUY" everyone is saying he is.

TTownMom
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TTownMom 02/25/10 - 04:49 pm
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-Man in the mirror-Cash

-Man in the mirror-Cash Bail-You don't know what you would do in this situation unless you were actually in it. Unless you know the situation, you don't know what this child needs, nor what this child has endured in a small town due to this situation. This teacher was trusted with the safety and protection of our children. Children in T Town, as well as parents trusted this man to educate and protect our children. Just so it's known, the child, not that teeny bopper, thought he was joking and being his flirty self. When she realized he was for real, she stopped all contact. So, the next time you decide to judge who needs counseling, maybe you should consider some counseling yourself for the comment you made about your own daughter and the hickory switch. And, this investigation has been ongoing since July of last year. I'm sure all of these charges are not from this one child's incident. So, are you saying all of these children have issues? I just think before any negative comments are made against the children involved, Adults making the comments need to be realistic about this situation. Children that are victims are not teeny boppers or bad kids, sometimes they just put trust into some twisted adults.

checkitout
7
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checkitout 02/25/10 - 05:38 pm
0
0
You know there is 2 sides to

You know there is 2 sides to every story. Yes he is a good band teacher and did a very good job teaching my daughter. He was wrong for talking to a 14 year old on the computer joking or not joking. But the 14 year old should not have been up at 2 in the morning on the computer talking trash with a person she knows as adult. There are a lot of wrongs here. But on another thing to look at is when investiagate they found more on him than just talking to young girls. child pornography was not just talking. So when he was at school was he looking at the young girls with thoughts in his head?? So if it had not been for this young girl talking to him on the computer at 2 in the morning none of this would ever have came out.

the_source
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the_source 02/26/10 - 02:41 am
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The guy was an idiot for not

The guy was an idiot for not stopping such inappropriate correspondence with this 14-year-old jail bait but I'll bet those here who condemn him the most have nasty little secrets in their own closets and on their own computers as well. I find it hard to believe this guy would really have sex with that little tease when he has such a beautiful wife. The only thing that is bothersome is his claim to have had sex with a student before. If that is true, then he definitely deserves what he gets, unless his present wife was this student of his that he meant (for something like music lessons or something).

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