OCEAN PARK — An Ocean Park Elementary P.E. teacher was arrested on child pornography charges on school grounds early Thursday morning.
Daniel James Schenk, 53, of Ilwaco, a fourth-grade teacher at OPE, was booked into Pacific County Jail at 11:36 a.m. on two charges; first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and first-degree dealing in depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He remains in jail Thursday afternoon, awaiting arraignment.
Schenk was arrested by the Washington State Patrol. In a statement posted to Facebook from the Ocean Beach School District late Thursday afternoon, the district said law enforcement officers from the WSP and Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant for Schenk's computer equipment around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.
In an email to families today, Ocean Beach School District Superintendent Amy Huntley said law enforcement officers have said there is no indication that the alleged activity involved OBSD students. She said Schenk has been put on administrative leave and will not be at school, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“While there is no reason to believe that Ocean Beach School District students were involved, the district takes these allegations very seriously,” Huntley said in the email. “The district will have additional counseling staff available at the school tomorrow to support students and staff following this incident.”
Bail for Schenk had not been set as of 2 p.m. on Oct. 15.
Chinook Observer archives indicate that Schenk was hired as assistant drama director at Ilwaco High School in December 2002. He has taught in the district since at least 2003, according to Observer files. Schenk graduated from IHS in the mid-1980s. During fishing season he skippers the Ilwaco charter boat Nauti-Lady.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.