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Questions linger after arrest of Henrico teacher’s aide

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Questions remain after a Freeman High School instructional assistant was arrested and charged with violating a student’s privacy.

Joshua Brinkley, who police said is charged with taking a picture of a male student's private parts without his knowledge, is now out of a job.

Parents and students are still trying to wrap their minds around the news.

Rosemary Burns' daughter is a freshman at Freeman High. Burns, who is also a substitute teacher in Henrico County who works with special needs students, said the alleged incident is heartbreaking.

“All the teachers there, I think would rather give their lives than see something happen to any of the kids in their care. So it is very troubling,” Burns said.

The alleged incident is raising questions among parents and students. Others said they’re eager to learn more about how Freeman High School administrators found out about the picture.

CBS 6 News pressed for some of those answers Thursday, but learned that all the court documents related to this case have been sealed by a judge for 90 days.

Henrico schools spokesperson Andy Jenks sent CBS 6 News also asked questions about the role an instructional assistant plays in a special needs class.  a detailed job description.

Instructional assistants like Brinkley perform a wide range of tasks. That includes supervising the class when the teacher is out of the room, providing one-on-one instruction to students, and assisting the students with physical hygiene matters.

CBS 6 News also found out how they are screened before being assigned to a classroom.

“Instructional assistants are vetted through the normal orientation process that anyone goes through. They’re fingerprinted and their background is checked. We check them against the Sex Offender Registry. They go through the process the same as any employee would,” Jenks said.

Brinkley is facing a Class 1 Misdemeanor. If convicted, he could face a year in jail and/or a $1000 fine. He’s due in court Jan. 14.

Stay with CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for updates on this story.

RELATED:  Henrico school employee arrested for taking photo of naked Freeman student


  • Rae

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty? This is a tragic event that has affected many people. There are no details available to the public to come to a finite conclusion. It is very easy for someone to take someone else’s phone a take pictures so this could be an innocent man, we just don’t know. I know him personally which is making this incredibly difficult. He made such a difference in my child’s life. A very positive difference.

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