Waubesa Intermediate School fourth-grade teacher Andrew Meeks was arrested the afternoon of Aug. 27 for alleged crimes against a child.
Meeks is charged with one count of child enticement, one count of exposing a child to harmful material and one count of causing mental harm to a child, according to Dane County Sheriff’s Office inmate records.
“The focus of the investigation right now involves one child,” McFarland Police Chief Craig Sherven said.
He declined to comment about whether the child was a McFarland School District student.
Meeks was taken into custody following a McFarland police investigation into his activities involving a juvenile, according to a press release from the department.
The district attorney has yet to issue a criminal complaint.
Meeks was booked at the Dane County Jail, where he is being held.
The case is being reviewed by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office. No further information is being released at this time as the case is an active, ongoing investigation.
“At this time, the district is unable to comment further, except to confirm that the district is cooperating with law enforcement, but principally focused on ensuring that the events do not negatively impact back-to-school activities for all of our students, including those attending Waubesa Intermediate School,” McFarland School District Superintendent Andrew Bridell said in a statement to staff.
Meeks has taken a leave of absence from his position.
Veteran McFarland teachers Signe Rose and Kerry Beam will teach the fourth-grade class starting the first day of classes Sept. 3. Beam, who is listed on the district’s website as an instructional coach, greeted families at the supply dropoff and ice cream social Aug. 29.
“Our student services team is on site at Waubesa to support colleagues, parents and students,” Briddell said. “They have also gathered a number of resources for teachers and parents to use in supporting our students at school and at home.”
Parents and staff members can contact their school’s student services team for resources and to talk further about the case.
Anyone with information relating to this case is encouraged to contact lead investigator and school resource officer John Miller at 838-3151.
Meeks was hired for the 2013-14 school year as a fourth-grade teacher at Waubesa Intermediate School. He taught fifth grade at the school the year prior through his program at Cardinal Stritch University, according to the school’s new staff biography from the 2013-14 year. Meeks had been a YMCA camp counselor, taught at Kid’s College in Seongbuk-gu, Korea, and was a middle school teacher at Korea University Cheonan.
Upon his return to the United States, he ran children’s programs for Royal Caribbean International and worked for the 21st Century Community Learning Center supporting programs for Chicago Public School sites. He was the director of the Super Center for the Arts in Madison before he began teaching in McFarland.
He has no prior offenses listed by the Wisconsin Circuit Court online database.
Meeks appeared in court Aug. 29 and was released on a signature bond of $500. Dane County Court Commissioner Jason Hanson prohibited Meeks from having contact with any child under the age of 16 without responsible adult supervision, having contact with the victim or their family, being in the village of McFarland, be on any McFarland school property and being at William McFarland Park.
The McFarland School Board conducted a special meeting Aug. 29 at the district office. The meeting was in closed session and not considered a public community meeting. The school board discussed the investigation of charges of a person that would have a negative effect on their reputation if discussed publicly.