In a statement released on its website on Thursday, Phoenixville Area School District reiterated that it had no knowledge of the child porn charge levied against its former middle school principal until media reports surfaced on Tuesday.
It was not until Tuesday, March 12, 2013, as we read the news reports, that the District first became aware of the charges against Dr. [Troy] Czukoski and the nature of those charges.
The district added that in late October an inspector from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service served a subpoena on PASD seeking personnel information regarding Dr. Czukoski, but gave them no information on the nature of the charges.
The district also emphasized that its decision to move Czukoski from his former position as principal of the middle school to a post in district office in February of 2012 was not motivated by concerns about his personal conduct.
The district's full statement is below.
By this time, you are probably all very much aware of the shocking and disturbing federal charges that have been filed against Dr. Troy Czukoski. This is a very sad situation for all involved.
It is typically not our practice to comment on matters involving individual employees or former employees of the District. This case is rather unique, however, and the District believes that a brief statement is appropriate under the circumstances.
The District became aware of a federal investigation for the first time when the news media reported in October of 2012 that Dr. Czukoski, at that time an employee of the Rose Tree-Media School District, was under investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service. As a result of news media reporting, the federal investigation, and the charges that have been filed against Dr. Czukoski, the District recognizes that questions have surfaced concerning what, if anything, our District knew about the behaviors that apparently led to these charges while Dr. Czukoski was employed by Phoenixville Area School District.
Quite simply and unequivocally, the District did not have any indication or suspicion that Dr. Czukoski was engaging in any conduct even remotely similar to that for which he is now charged. In February 2012, Dr. Czukoski was assigned to a central administration position and tasked with the launch and development of the District’s new Virtual Academy initiative – an important new initiative for the District. The change in Middle School leadership and the reassignment of Dr. Czukoski to his role as Director of Virtual Learning was in no way motivated by any knowledge or suspicion on the part of Phoenixville Area School District that Dr. Czukoski was engaging in the type of conduct for which he has now been charged.
Dr. Czukoski resigned his employment with the District to pursue his career goals in Rose TreeMedia in July 2012.
In mid-October 2012, the news media began reporting that Dr. Czukoski was being investigated by federal authorities for undisclosed reasons. In late October, an Inspector from the United States Postal Inspection Service served a subpoena on the District seeking personnel information regarding Dr. Czukoski. The District was not informed at that time as to the nature or purpose of the federal investigation. The District fully complied with the subpoena.
It was not until Tuesday, March 12, 2013, as we read the news reports, that the District first became aware of the charges against Dr. Czukoski and the nature of those charges. According to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger, Dr. Czukoski was charged with one count of possession of child pornography. Let me be very clear: The Board of School Directors and the Administration of the Phoenixville Area School District would react with speed and certainty if there was any reason to believe an employee of the District might be engaging in any unlawful conduct, most especially conduct that was potentially harmful or detrimental to children.
The employee would be immediately removed from the District, appropriate authorities would be contacted that day, and the employee would not receive a recommendation from the District for another job. There is nothing more important to us than the safety and security of children, and we will always do everything in our power to protect them from any threat.