A Derby Middle School teacher and coach was arrested Tuesday following an investigation into allegations of child pornography, law enforcement officials said.
Cody K. Chitwood, 37, a special education teacher, was arrested and taken into police custody on suspicion of two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, said Sedgwick County Lt. Tim Myers.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, a joint effort between the Wichita Police Department and Sedgwick County Sheriff, served a search warrant Tuesday in Derby. During the warrant, Chitwood “was contacted and later booked into jail,” police said.
Derby school district officials said the teacher was suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
Chitwood, who was hired by the Derby district in 2004, is head of the special education department at Derby Middle School, said district spokeswoman Katie Carlson. He also coached football, track and girls’ basketball.
“This is a personnel matter and we are cooperating fully with police on this,” Carlson said in an e-mailed news release.
“Our understanding at this time is that this matter does not involve our students or other staff.”
The investigation is ongoing and will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office upon completion, police said.
Carlson, the district spokeswoman, said he “was not at school today or taken into custody on school property.”
According to the news release, information regarding the staff member “was shared with Derby Middle School staff and families after school” Tuesday.
Derby Middle School is a sixth- through eighth-grade school with about 820 students, according to data from the Kansas Department of Education.