Charged with attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors
By Michael Turton
According to reports on LoHud.com and other regional media outlets, Joseph Sayers, a history teacher at Haldane High School has been arrested and charged with attempted dissemination of indecent material to minors, a Class E Felony. In an email to Philipstown.info, Haldane Superintendent Mark Villanti said, “I have been asked…[about] a matter involving one of our teachers, Joseph Sayers…since this is a personnel matter, there is very little that I can say at this time,” he said. “Student safety is of paramount importance in the district and we will take whatever necessary steps to insure that our students are safe.”
Based on Villanti’s email it seems that the alleged crime, conducted via the Internet, did not involve Haldane students or take place via Haldane’s access to the Internet. “We have no reason to believe that any of the alleged activities involve the Haldane Central District or violated our Internet Acceptable Use Policy. The District will fully cooperate with police authorities,” Villanti said. In a separate statement issued to Haldane parents he added, “I am saddened and upset by this information on many levels.”Reports allege that Sayers engaged in online conversations with a police investigator posing as a 15 year-old girl.
In his biographical sketch on Haldane’s website, Sayers, who lives in Hawthorne, states that he has taught at Haldane for 10 years. He currently teaches history in grades 10-12 including Advanced Placement (AP) United States History, AP Government and Politics, Participation in Government and Economics. “I earned a BA in European History from SUNY Purchase and Masters in Secondary Education from Manhattanville College,” Sayers states. “I am currently working toward a Master in Political Science at American Military University. In my free time, I teach USA Goju Karate and advanced defensive tactics. I currently hold the rank of 4rd degree Black belt…I am always available for extra help.”
There are no classes at Haldane this week because of spring break. This story will be updated on April 4.