Local News

Wilson County principal makes initial appearance on child-sex charges

Posted March 22, 2010 2:33 p.m. EDT
Updated March 22, 2010 6:11 p.m. EDT

— 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.

“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.