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Charlottesville City Schools, Police Host Community Meeting Regarding Teacher Charged with Child Porn Possession

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Charlottesville High School, where meeting was held. Charlottesville High School, where meeting was held.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Charlottesville community is left with mixed emotions right now after one of its teachers is charged for possessing child porn. School officials held a meeting to try to ease concerns, but some are in disbelief.

The meeting at Charlottesville High School was meant to let people ask and answer questions freely. It was closed to the media, but when NBC29 caught up with student and parents outside, they said something just isn't right.

"I have a hard time believing it, a really hard time and to say that I doubt the evidence is very true," Amber Purdy, a parent said.

Purdy says she's in shock after 56-year-old Richard Wellbeloved-Stone, a Charlottesville High science teacher is charged with possession of child porn.

"I have a hard time believing it and certainly saw no signs of that,” Purdy said. “He really made science fun for them, he had snakes in his room and he had art in his room and had animals, and he just really related to the kids and put science into the fun mode, brought it down to their level,” Purdy said.

CHS officials held a discussion to address the community's concerns and answer questions about Well-beloved Stone. Media was not allowed to attend.

"It’s very troubling for us as the school board and to the school community and to our whole community so we are going to, we are going to work through it, together, Juandiego Wade, Charlottesville School Board chair, said.

"He was just like a really cool guy, he honestly really cared about his students like he would care about if you were learning or not, he was more worried about if you were learning the material rather than just getting good grades on tests,” former student Megan Kimple said.

Police say the case is under investigation and say it's time for parents to have conversations with their children.

"Any child who may have had contact with this gentleman to say, if indeed there is something that you need to say or need to tell us, tell us please do so they can let us know," Maj. Gary Pleasants with Charlottesville Police Department said.

Students are still holding onto hope that investigators are wrong.

"I think I'm sort of like in the numb stage where I'm just trying to figure out all of the facts before … innocent until proven guilty," Kimple said.

NBC29 is told search warrants in the case are sealed. The prosecutor in the case says a victim has now been identified.

Wellbeloved-Stone's next court appearance is set for Sept 28.   

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