Kentucky High School Principal Who Banned Books Over ‘Homosexual Content’ Arrested On Child Porn Charges

A picture of an empty school hallway.
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A Kentucky high school principal who once gained fame for banning classroom books that contained “homosexual content” has now been arrested on 30 counts of child pornography-related offenses.

As the Courier-Journal reported, 54-year-old Phillip Todd Wilson was arrested this week by Kentucky State Police. The department said it learned on Tuesday morning of an allegation that a principal at Clark County Area Technology Center was in possession of explicit images involving a minor, and could have been distributing it. Wilson was arrested by state troopers.

The report added that Wilson first made headlines in 2009 when parents complained that students in an English class were given assignments to read young-adult contemporary novels that covered topics including sex, child abuse, suicide, and drug abuse. Wilson and administrators at the school decided to pull the books from the teacher’s classroom, leading the teacher to speak out.

In the wake of Wilson’s arrest this week, authors of several of the books that were pulled took to Twitter to speak out again, the Courier-Journal noted. That included author Jo Knowles, who said that her book was pulled from the classroom for “for homosexual and other content.”

“I was a very new author at the time all this happened and the press coverage was overwhelming,” Knowles wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “I was horrified by the accusations he and the superintendent made. And heartbroken for the brave teacher, Risha Allen Mullins who stood up for our books and faced so much unfair criticism.”

Wilson’s arrest has also garnered some national interest, with a number of news outlets picking up on the arrest, and others sharing the story on social media. Clark County Public Schools released a statements on the principal’s arrest, saying they were “shocked and dismayed” about the arrest and allegations. The district said it is working with investigators to determine whether any children in the program that the principal oversaw were affected.

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Phillip Todd Wilson was booked into the Clark County Detention Center this week on 15 counts of distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and another 15 counts of possessing matter portraying sexual performance by a minor. After being arraigned in court on Wednesday and having a not guilty plea entered for him, Wilson was taken to jail on $25,000 cash bond, WKYT reported.

A spokesperson for the Kentucky Department of Education said that Phillip Todd Wilson is no longer an employee.