HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A now-former Holyoke school teacher has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.
Gregory Lisby resigned from his position as a kindergarten teacher with Holyoke Public Schools yesterday morning.
He was taken into custody last night and appeared in federal court in Boston earlier this afternoon.
Before being hired in August as a kindergarten teacher at Morgan School, 40-year-old Gregory Lisby was the rector of All Saints Church in Worcester.
He was suspended from that job by the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese last year for an inappropriate relationship with an adult that did not involve sexual contact.
Yesterday, school parents were notified he resigned Thursday morning pending an F.B.I. investigation involving child pornography charges.
Parents we spoke with today say the allegations are extremely troubling.
"Very disturbing, very disturbing definitely. Raised a lot of anger for me at first and then it was upsetting and hurting," Holyoke school parent Amy Merchant tells us.
Thursday morning, Morgan School kindergarten teacher Gregory Lisby resigned from his position.
By the late afternoon, school parents had learned why.
"When I went to pick her up, they had pulled us in to the school and informed us that that morning he had resigned, because there was a F.B.I. investigation the previous night for child pornography possession," explained Merchant.
Amy Merchant's daughter was in Mr. Lisby's class.
She says these allegations have led her to have difficult conversations with her five-year-old.
"I told Briana if anybody did anything inappropriate to her, she's not in trouble or anything, but she needs to let mommy know," says Merchant.
In a statement to Western Mass News, Holyoke Public Schools says:
"This is troubling news, and we understand that this will prompt many questions from the community."
Many school parents, like Samantha, who didn't want to show her face on camera, say there are still a number of concerns and questions.
"I got this letter sent home yesterday from the school stating that there was a predator in the schools and things were handled, but, as a parent, it makes me wonder how he got through the school system. According to the principal of Morgan School, he had a clean record and he hadn't been caught yet," stated Samantha.
The letter sent home to parents says:
"All employees are fingerprinted and undergo background checks. Mr. Lisby passed the background checks at his time of hire."
"I just hope the parents who were in this classroom find justice and peace with this situation, and that they can figure out how to move on from it," said Samantha.
"I'm glad they caught it now instead of having more victims out there," added Amy.
Holyoke Public Schools is offering support to students, families and staff, but there is still a lot more to dive into regarding these allegations and Lisby's background.