FORT BEND COUNTY, TX (KTRK) --A former teacher who has worked with children for years is in jail charged with possessing child pornography.
Joe Cephus Ross, 51, was a teacher's aide at Pink Elementary in Lamar Consolidated ISD up until his arrest last week.
Last year he was a substitute and has been working with children in the area for the last decade, according to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office. Investigators also learned he possibly had inappropriate contact last year with three students at Pink Elementary.
Ross was arrested last Friday at his Richmond apartment on Dowling Drive where he lives with his elderly mother. Neighbors say they saw investigators carry out a computer. The sheriff's office classified what they found as a "significant amount of child pornography."
"Who knows that could have been our kids. It's sickening," neighbor Kasey Patterson said, referring to the many children at play in the complex courtyards.
Lamar CISD released the following statement to Eyewitness News:
On Friday, August 19 Lamar CISD was informed by the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office that a teacher's aide at Pink Elementary School was being investigated for allegations of inappropriate contact with students.
The employee was immediately terminated.
The District is outraged at the alleged conduct. We will never compromise the safety of our students and we will always act swiftly to protect them.
We are doing everything possible to assist the Sheriff's Office with its investigation.
"You can't trust anybody with your kids, not even at school," neighbor Djuana Wright said. "It's really sad you send them to school to learn and not to be harmed."
The sheriff's office believes Ross has been collecting child pornography for years and in different communities. He previously lived in Rosenberg and Austin.
Parents are being asked to question any child who may have had contact with Ross last year. If you have any information, you are asked to call the sheriff's office at 281-341-4665.