A Natomas Unified School District teacher was booked into jail Thursday for allegedly using his cellphone to take photographs of a female student.
Scott MacMillan, 44, turned himself in to the Sacramento County Main Jail on charges of attempted possession of obscene matter of a minor and photographing a person under their clothing, according to a Sacramento Police Department news release. He was described as a teacher at Heron School, which enrolls students from kindergarten to eighth grade at 5151 Banfield Drive in North Natomas.
The Police Department said detectives began an investigation into MacMillan in December when they received a tip that a teacher was using his cellphone to record video or take inappropriate pictures of a student. School officials responded to the allegation and conducted a preliminary investigation before handing the case over to the Police Department’s sex assault unit.
According to the news release, detectives found MacMillan used his cellphone to take photographs of a female student underneath a table while in a classroom. Officers with the department’s digital forensics unit found photographs of both minors and adults that appeared to have been taken without their knowledge.
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MacMillan was suspended Dec. 22 by the Natomas Unified School District after allegations were brought forward by students, according to a district news release. He has not taught at the school since then and the district recently launched dismissal proceedings, the district reports. The district also reported it has notified Heron families twice about the matter.
“Protection of students is paramount, and our teachers are notified each year about appropriate behavior around students,” according to a written statement in the release. “Inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated.”
MacMillan was a finalist to be California’s winner of the Presidential Award of Excellence, the nation’s highest honor for science teachers in 2016, according to a school district newsletter published in September. “My passion is advancing science literacy for all,” MacMillan said in the article.
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office granted an arrest warrant for MacMillan’s arrest Thursday, according to the news release. The Police Department urges anyone who may have been in contact with MacMillan or may be a victim to contact police.