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'Shocked and concerned': Calgary principal charged with possession of child pornography

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A Calgary elementary school principal has been charged with possession of child pornography, authorities announced Monday.

Bruce Campbell, 61, who was employed as a principal at Calgary's Sacred Heart Elementary School, was arrested and charged with possessing and accessing child pornography on April 16.

In January, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) were notified by the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Crime Centre after the accused uploaded child sexual abuse materials using Skype.

“These are very shocking and concerning offences made worse by positions of trust and authority. But at this time we do not believe any of the material is of children at the school,” said Staff Sgt. Mark Auger with ALERT.

Police said they began investigating Campbell in March and traced an image to his work cell phone. Investigators believe these offences are only related to online activities.

Parents were shocked and concerned about the charges when CTV News told them about the investigation. They only knew that the principal retired suddenly earlier this month.

Calgary Catholic School District said it is “shocked and saddened,” adding, “This principal is no longer employed at our district.”

The school board said they are “fully cooperating with ALERT in their investigation.”

ALERT says Campbell's home was searched following his arrest and a number of phones and computers were seized.

"A preliminary forensic analysis of the seized devices found child sexual abuse materials on his work-issued cellphone," officials said.

Campbell worked for Calgary Catholic School District for over 30 years and was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee medal in 2022.

The province said it will not comment on whether or not it might revoke this medal, since this case is before the courts.

Campbell was released from custody on a number of conditions and is expected back in court on May 10.

Police are urging families to teach their kids about the risks of the internet.

“I think the biggest piece is: be aware of where our children are online,” said Auger.

“The internet can be a wonderful education tool but it can also be horrific if we do not monitor what our kids are looking at.”

ALERT's Internet Child Exploitation unit is asking anyone with information about the case to come forward and speak with police by either contacting their local authorities or calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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