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Wilson County principal makes initial appearance on child-sex charges

Posted March 22, 2010

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— The former principal of Springfield Middle School in Wilson County made his first court appearance Monday on child-sex charges.

Ronald Earl Barringer, 41, 3601 West Court West in Wilson, was arrested Friday in the 100 block of Goldsboro Street East, according to police records.

Barringer is charged with eight counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. On Dec. 9, authorities found numerous pornographic images showing underage girls engaged in sexual activity on Barringer's computer. The alleged incidents did not happen on school grounds, according to the school system.

The State Bureau of Investigation's Computer Crimes division handled the investigation with assistance from the Department of Homeland Security.

Former principal faces child-sex charges Former principal faces child-sex charges

“This is shocking, shocking news to us,” parent Glen Bundy said.

Bundy said his daughter, an eighth grader at Springfield, was upset to find out about the arrest.

Parents said they received a recorded call from Wilson County School District Superintendent Larry Price Friday saying that Barringer had resigned. Price's office said Barringer resigned before his arrest.

Wilson Schools says it learned about the charges on Thursday, but Barringer was allowed to go to work Friday.

"That kind of concerned me, I'm not sure why he was at the school Friday if they knew he was being charged Thursday," Bundy said.

Barringer was released from the Wilson County jail after posting a $12,000 bond Friday afternoon.

“It’s a sad situation for all involved, but it would be premature to jump to any judgment until all the evidence is out there,” Springfield Middle PTO president David Blalock said Monday.

Barringer was appointed principal at Springfield Middle on July 1, 2007, according to the school system. Prior to that, he was the assistant principal at Barnes Elementary School.

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  • validpoint Mar 24, 2010

    "I agree! Mr. Price has been the superintenddant for far too long. If they knew about this on Thursday, why in the world did they let him be close to children on Friday????"

    Two things:

    He hasn't been convicted of any crime as of yet, just accused.
    When he was at the school there is a resource officer that might have escorted him on and off the premises.

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Mar 23, 2010

    babbleon, i was a tall one too at that age and you're right, often mistaken for MUCH older. i'm just curious because like i said, theres a big difference in looking at/producing kiddie porn, and looking at/producing teen porn. sure they are both wrong, but kiddie porn is wrong on a whole different level. most teens are out there having sex these days. most elementary school aged kids are not. again, not that either is ok, just curious to see what kind of depraved dude this guy is. its hard to blame a guy for being turned on by pics of voluptuous teens, but pre-pubescent little girls? ugh. it'd be nice if we had more info.

  • babbleon Mar 23, 2010

    I dunno, mileage - he's principle of a middle school - 9th grade = 14 yo girls. They are too similar to 16yos for my comfort, even if it is just downloading pictures of unknown girls.

    (At 13, I was 5'10", so I got mistaken for 16 or older a lot. It was uncomfortable)

  • MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap Mar 23, 2010

    Curious to know if he took the photos himself or if he just found them online and downloaded them. Also curious how young the girls in the photos were. Not defending him in the slightest, its just this case isn't as clear cut as others I've read which clearly define the defendants role in the acquisition of child porn and the general age of victims involved.

    There's a big difference between him personally taking sexually explicit photos of a bunch of 8 year old girls, and him downloading sexually explicit photos of a bunch of 17 year old girls who took photos of themselves and circulated them.

    Which end of the spectrum does this man fall on?

  • shortyrules Mar 23, 2010

    I agree! Mr. Price has been the superintenddant for far too long. If they knew about this on Thursday, why in the world did they let him be close to children on Friday????

  • luvsbooks Mar 23, 2010

    Mr. Price doesn't care about the children of Wilson. All he cares about is the money. We need a new Superintendent in Wilson!