By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Pinedale teacher has been dismissed after being accused of trying to arrange a clandestine meeting with an underage boy while in California, officials announced Friday.
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office and Sublette County School District No. 1, in a joint statement, announced district trustees voted Thursday to dismiss David Shaw over allegations of misconduct that occurred in San Diego.
The statement did not specify the nature of the misconduct.
However, a video from the YouTube series “People v. Preds,” shows a man the show’s producers identified only as “David” and who appears to be Shaw involved in a confrontation with a second man who said he posed online as a 14-year-old boy as part of a sting to identify potential child predators.
According to the statement from the school district and sheriff’s office, an unidentified man contacted school district Superintendent Shannon Harris and two school resource officers to allege misconduct on the part of a Pinedale teacher while he was in San Diego.
After school officials made contact with the caller, the man sent an email which included a video of Shaw, who was immediately placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, the statement said.
The school district provided no further information on the incident.
People v. Preds
“People v. Preds” is a series compiled by people who run internet stings in order to catch online predators.
In the 30-minute video posted Wednesday, the man identified as “David” is confronted by the host of the show in a parking lot in San Diego.
There, the anonymous host, while filming, claims David set up a meeting with a 14-year-old boy after chatting with the boy on Grindr, a gay dating app. The “boy” was actually the host.
The host, using his own phone, shows David photos that were allegedly sent to the boy.
“Why do I have your picture on my phone at the spot you were coming to meet me?” the cameraman asked David. “Make that add up for me.”
David admitted the picture was of him, but said he did not know how the host got it.
The host follows David through the parking lot, asking him why he was in the area at that time. He refers to David as a “pedo” and screams at him during the confrontation.
David calls 911 during the confrontation to report harassment by the host and repeatedly denies allegations that he was in the parking lot to meet a boy.
Screenshots said to be from the Grindr conversation between David and the host are shown on the video.
The text exchanges show David asking the host if he is interested in older men. Once the host announces he is only 14, David asks if the “boy” has had sex. David also alludes to being sexually aroused, but offers to meet the boy in public to just talk.
David, who identifies himself as “Edward” in the course of the texts, also asks if the “boy” is interested in bondage.
Later, police arrive and speak to David. No audio of the exchange between the two men and the officers can be heard, but Shaw is seen getting a ride from officers at the end of the video.
A “People v. Preds” volunteer who declined to identify himself told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that he was glad to see Shaw dismissed from his job at the school district and hoped that the former educator would be prosecuted in some way.
“I don’t think people who are trying to meet up with minors for an alleged sexual encounter should get to teach children,” he said. “The overall goal is to protect children, so when somebody is a position of authority like that, working directly with children, there is a sense of concern.”
The volunteer confirmed that the YouTube video was the same one sent to Sublette County school officials this week.
The San Diego Police Department is currently investigating the allegations and did not respond to Cowboy State Daily’s multiple requests for comment on Friday.