Police: Belton substitute teacher sent inappropriate messages, videos to students

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 11:34 AM CDT
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BELTON, Mo. (KCTV) - Belton police say a 42-year-old substitute teacher sent inappropriate social media messages to students at the Belton School District.

Jason L. Carey is charged with felony enticement or attempted enticement of a child, felony second-degree child molestation, and two counts of furnishing pornographic material or attempting to furnish pornographic material to a minor.

The charges stem from a Sept. 19 tip to a Belton Police School Resource Officer. The officer received information from a student regarding inappropriate social media messages and videos from a substitute teacher, Jason L. Carey.

Belton School District superintendent Dr. Andrew Underwood released a statement to district parents Thursday morning. In it, Underwood said Carey was working as a substitute teacher through the district’s third-party vendor at the time of the allegation. However, he said Carey previously worked in the district’s SAC program.

“We have already reached out to the families of the students whom this person may have worked with,” Underwood’s statement read. “As soon as it was reported to us, we contacted the police department, made the appropriate call to the children’s division, and the third-party substitute company took appropriate action. Please know that the individual is no longer on school property and will have no further access to students or staff.”

Underwood noted the State of Missouri and the Belton School District require anyone who works in a school district to complete the Family Cares Safety Registry and pass background and fingerprint checks through the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Carey is currently being held without bond in the Cass County Jail. The substitute teacher was detained in the early morning hours of Sept. 21 by the Bates County Sheriff’s Office as a person of interest.

This continues to be an ongoing investigation. Police said additional charges may be filed as more information is obtained.

Officers said the student, a teenage girl, had reported the messages to administrators. Administrators then called the school resource officer. After looking at the messages and interviewing the student, the officer was able to identify two other kids who they said had received similar messages.

Lt. Dan Davis, the public information officer for the Belton Police Department, described the student’s actions as brave. He encouraged parents to check in with their children regularly about the importance of reporting inappropriate communication.

“This all came to light because the young lady was willing to come forward,” Davis said. “She knew it wasn’t right and couldn’t be tolerated, and had the courage to come forward. Parents definitely need to monitor their kid’s activities. Social media apps can definitely be a medium by which bad actors make contact with children.”

Davis also said police were still investigating whether there may be other victims.