A Burnsville High School music teacher is in jail accused of having sexually explicit communication with a student, Burnsville police said.
The teacher, who has not been charged, was arrested around 11:35 a.m. Monday at the school and booked into the Dakota County jail on suspicion of using the internet or a computer to distribute material that relates or describes sexual conduct with a child, according to Dakota County jail records.
The teacher, who is a vocal instructor and has worked at Burnsville High since 2013, is due in court on Wednesday.
In addition to his duties at the high school, the teacher has worked at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis for the past six years.
He directed the Chancel Choir composed of seventh- and eighth-grade students and was an accompanist for the high school choir, said Jackie Enestvedt of the church's communications department.
During his tenure at the church "there were no complaints" against him and he was well respected in the music and youth departments, she said.
The sexting incident that launched the investigation did not involve any members of the church's youth choirs.
The church placed him on administrative leave and notified parents of the decision in an e-mail sent Monday evening by interim Senior Pastor Dennis Johnson.
"It's heartbreaking, and we are praying for all involved," Enestvedt said. "We want to maintain this as a safe place for youth."
A school official was tipped off about the electronic communication that was "sexually explicit" and had occurred over a period of a couple weeks.
The official notified police, who began investigating, said Sgt. Matt Smith of the Burnsville Police Department.
The school district also received a complaint last Saturday and began to investigate, said spokeswoman Ruth Dunn.
"We contacted local law authorities and are now cooperating with their criminal investigation," she said in a statement.
While data practices laws limited what the district could say about the case, "we find the reported allegations to be very upsetting," she said.
"We are committed to fully working with the Burnsville police in their investigation and take appropriate action to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for our students."