Assistant principal at Miami Beach public school arrested on child porn charges

Parents say Don Clippinger was new to school

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor , Liane Morejon - Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - An assistant principal at Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center, in Miami Beach, was arrested Tuesday morning for allegedly downloading child pornography, the Miami Herald first reported.

Don Clippinger was taken into custody at his Miami Shores-area home by federal agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Miami Beach police told Local 10 News that they "fully cooperated with their (Homeland Security Investigations') investigation" in a supportive role.

Local 10 News reporter Liane Morejon spoke to parents Tuesday afternoon at the school at 1420 Washington Ave. They said they were shocked and disgusted to hear about the allegations.

"I'm just still in shock," Bee Santana said. "You know, you would never expect somewhere where you bring your kids to be safe, for something like this (to happen), especially (involving) an assistant principal. Now I come to find out that he's been in the school system for over 20 years. It's kind of scary."

Parents told Morejon that Clippinger was new to the school, but had always seemed like a nice person.

"He was a very nice man. No problem," a woman, who did not want to be identified, said. "Never said anything rude or anything. He was just a nice guy who loved the kids."

Parents said they were notified through a phone call from the school that there was an off-campus incident involving an employee, but said they were not given any specifics.

"The accusations made against this employee are disgraceful and reprehensible, and constitute conduct unbecoming a school district employee," Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said in a statement. "Miami-Dade County Public Schools has initiated procedures for the immediate termination of this individual from any and all employment with the school district."

Prior to working at the Fienberg-Fisher K-8 Center, Clippinger worked at the Hubert O. Sibley School in Miami for more than a decade.

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