The community surrounding Locust Fork High School is in shock, after the school’s longtime assistant principal has been arrested on sex-related charges.
Tim Clevenger, who has been an administrator and athletic coach at the school for more than a decade, was arrested early Thursday morning on charges of production of obscene matter, possession of obscene matter and criminal surveillance.
The charges stem from an incident which investigators say happened more than a year ago, but was just discovered earlier this week by computer technicians with Blount County Schools.
Superintendent Jim Carr got word from his technical staff Friday afternoon that they had found a video on Clevenger’s school-issued laptop computer, which showed a nude teenage girl as she was about to shower. Clevenger had turned the computer in for maintenance, Carr said.
Investigators with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office believe that the girl was a visitor at Clevenger’s home, and that he secretly videotaped her from outside his house through window blinds, without her knowledge.
“Our staff called me that afternoon about it, and we set up a meeting for Wednesday morning [after schools were closed Monday for Presidents’ Day and Tuesday because of weather]. When I saw it, I was just as shocked and surprised as you could be,” Carr said.
Warrants were issued on Wednesday, and Clevenger was arrested just after midnight on Thursday morning. He is held in the Blount County Correctional Facility without bond.
Carr said Clevenger was placed on administrative leave by the school system.
“You get angry, you get mad, and you get disappointed when you see this happen,” Carr said.
Clevenger has served as an assistant principal at Locust Fork since 2004, and has also coached various junior varsity sports teams there over the years. He graduated from the school in 1984, according to his biography on the school’s website.
He also served as principal at Susan Moore High before moving back to Locust Fork.
“It’s devastating — it kind of knocks you off your feet,” Carr said. “We’re hurting, but we’re going to do everything we can to stop this.”
Clevenger’s case is the latest of several sex-related crimes involving Blount County Schools faculty over the past year. Teachers at Susan Moore, Cleveland and Appalachian high schools have been arrested on various charges, with one — Ashley Pruitt — arrested in November 2014 and still jailed in lieu of $215,000 bond. Another pleaded guilty to sending sex-related text messages to a student, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with nine years suspended.
“These are people we entrust to work and do a good job of taking care of our children,” Carr said. “You’re sad, but at the same time you get mad as hell.”